July 15, 2024

Written by Siti Khatijah Zamhari & Dr Haslina Hashim

In a remarkable achievement, the final-year students of the Development Planning and Management Programme, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (FSSH) have secured a second place in the highly competitive Innovative Sustainability Competition. The competition, held as part of the Festival Kokurikulum UNIMAS 2024, was a celebration of innovation and sustainability. It brought together UNIMAS community to exchange ideas, display projects, and promote sustainability on campus.  

One of the team members explaining about eco-brick to the judges.

The innovation of their project was a series of stools made entirely from eco-bricks. Eco-bricks are a type of building block made by tightly packing plastic waste into used bottles. This method not only helps in managing plastic waste but also provides versatile building material. Under the guidance of Dr Haslina Hashim and Ms. Siti Khatijah Zamhari, the students took this concept a step further by designing products that are not just environmentally friendly but also useful and appealing in everyday settings. The students focused on ensuring that their stools were sturdy, capable of bearing significant weight, and durable for long-term use. They also paid close attention to the aesthetics, ensuring that the stools were visually appealing and could complement several types of decors. The project demonstrated a thorough understanding of both the technical aspects of eco-brick production and the practical needs of potential users.  

The team comprises of third years students from the Development Planning & Management Programme.
Back (L-R): Yin Wee Hong, Desy Anniela Juman, Nur Aliah Bazilah binti Mohammed Gupta, Nur Atiyah binti Sakti, Sylvester Chai.
Front (L-R): Angelina Josephine anak Jengkin, Ismazaidatul Syafiqah binti Abdul Nasir.

The journey of the eco-brick project in FSSH began in 2019. Initially known as a class project, the initiative has grown remarkably over the years. One of the most significant aspects of the project was its focus on sustainability from multiple angles. Not only did it provide a solution for plastic waste, but it also promoted the idea of reusing materials to create new products. This aligns with the broader goals of sustainable development, which seek to reduce waste and promote the efficient use of resources. 

The eco-brick stools were praised for its comprehensive approach to sustainability. Judges at the competition highlighted the project’s potential for real-world application, noting that the stools could be easily produced on a larger scale and used in various community settings. They also commended the students for their innovative thinking and dedication to positively impacting the environment. 

Securing second place in the competition is evidence of the hard work and creativity of the students and lecturers of FSSH. This achievement is not only a personal triumph for the students involved but also a source of pride for the entire Faculty and the University.

As the world continues to cope with environmental challenges, innovative project like this provides hope and inspiration. The students have demonstrated that with creativity, dedication, and a commitment to sustainability, it is possible to develop practical solutions that can make a real difference. As the eco-brick project continues to grow and inspire, it holds the promise of a cleaner, greener future driven by the passion and dedication of young change-makers. 

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