Sustainable voices

Lett På Kroken

LPK

Who, What, Where?

We are Anna Meek Fiskerstrand, Mari Larsen Sæther and Ruth Søyset Jensen from Ålesund, Norway. Eight years ago, at the age of sixteen, we started a youth enterprise called Lett på Kroken. In several parts of Norway, plastic waste is thrown in a bag and placed outside by the bin before it is picked up by the waste collectors. However, it is a problem that the plastic bag blows away with the wind and waste is spread in nature. Also, many people tie the bag to the bin which makes it hard for the waste collectors to do their job. To solve this problem and improve the waste collection process, Lett på Kroken provides a hook that attaches the bag to the bin.

What was your a-ha moment that made you become engaged in sustainability?

In need of a business idea for our high school entrepreneurship project, we quickly discovered a need for a better solution for household recycling. The average household generates a vast amount of waste. There are unarguably numerous areas of improvement throughout the value chain of household items - we decided to focus on waste collection.

What is your single best tip for someone who wants to do more for the environment on a personal level?

Reduce your consumption and inspire others to do the same! Every time you consider buying a product, be sure to ask yourself if you really need it and be conscious of your choices concerning packaging, how and where products are produced, and the content of the product.

What do you think will be the legacy of your generation?

We are confident that a substantial change of attitude is an important contribution from our generation. There is no doubt that human-driven climate change is real and the younger generation has committed to act louder and more ambitious than our predecessors.

What is the most critical technological breakthrough that needs to happen for the world to reach the 1,5 degree goal?

Total greenhouse gas emissions related to energy production are accountable for 72% of total emissions according to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. If we are to reach the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C, we believe renewable energy and decarbonization technologies are some of the main keys. However, we are dependent on several technological breakthroughs and global collaboration to reach this goal. The great need for energy is partly due to our increasing consumption of products. Waste technology that facilitates a circular economy will consequently be important in ensuring more efficient energy use.

What will this breakthrough demand from us as a society?

The engagement from young adults is rapidly increasing, and we must continue to raise awareness through school programs, tv-shows and social media. It is vital that our - and future generations - are educated on the environmental changes from an early age to ensure that we are well equipped to grasp the challenges we are facing. Additionally, society has to demand responsibility from each player in the industry, e.g. by boycotting ignorant companies.

What is your company’s most impactful contribution to fight climate change?

In Norway, the amount of waste reached 12.2 million tonnes in 2019. Despite the increasing amount of waste, only 41 percent of all ordinary waste is recycled to new materials. These are worrying numbers. We believe that it is crucial to make it easy for people to make good decisions. Therefore, we have created a product that makes waste sorting easier for both households and waste management companies. We need better systems that facilitate efficient reuse of resources! Also, we aspire to be an inspiration for our local community, especially for the youth motivated to carry out their own sustainable business ideas.

In your industry, what do you think will be the most groundbreaking change over the next 10 years?

As a result of the throw-away society, the world is suffering from a huge waste problem. To fight climate change we depend on a circular economy, where resources are used over and over again. We believe that groundbreaking changes are required in how waste is handled. We should implement waste tracking, by collecting data on who disposes of how much of different types of waste. This way, people who are good at sorting can be rewarded by having to pay a smaller amount than those who throw away large amounts of residual waste, thus incentivizing waste sorting. By knowing when and where waste is disposed of, one can also connect used resources to actors who are in need of them. Also, it is incredibly important that manufacturers design products that can be easily reused.

Which brand (in general) do you think is at the forefront when it comes to sustainability?

We find it especially exciting to see new ventures based on new, disruptive business models that enable consumers to make more sustainable choices in their everyday life. Heads up for good Norwegian initiatives such as WasteIQ, Fjong, Hyre, Otovo, TooGoodToGo... the list goes on!

What makes you climate positive about the future?

The current media exposure and the recent IPCC report are important to spread knowledge, but can also cause negativity and fear. Remember that change is possible! We experience a positive outlook for the future as it is deeply inspiring to observe the determination and willfulness evolving from the younger generation.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

There are many solutions for a more sustainable living. Figure out which changes are best for you and your everyday life, and make it a habit! Spread the word!

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