Night of Ideas 2023: Exploring Sustainable Solutions to Plastic Consumption

Plastic pollution has become a pressing global concern, prompting the need for urgent action to protect our environment. In the face of this challenge, the Night of Ideas 2023 event, held recently in the context of the upcoming COP28 in the United Arab Emirates, showcased the remarkable work of French university students and schools. The event brought together bright minds who spent a day exploring alternative solutions to plastic consumption, culminating in a final presentation before a jury composed of sustainability and energy experts.

Throwback to the night of Ideas in video


One outstanding proposal emerged from the students of Mohammed Bin Zayed University for Humanities, who were awarded a prize for their innovative recycling idea. Their concept involved the construction of an AI-powered waste sorting wall within their university. By implementing this advanced sorting wall, traditional bins that lack efficient recycling capabilities would be replaced. The AI technology would ensure optimal waste sorting by relocating items placed in the wrong section of the wall to the appropriate one. Moreover, students would be able to track the progress of the sorting system through a mobile application, earning points for each recycling action. This gamified approach aims to motivate students to actively participate in waste segregation by offering rewards for accumulating points.


Introducing the brilliant minds, studying at Mohammed Bin Zayed University for Humanities behind the award-winning project at Night of Ideas 2023: Bushra and Houda! Their innovative waste sorting wall, powered by artificial intelligence, caught the attention of the jury and earned them well-deserved recognition.


The event’s conclusion featured a conference attended by esteemed experts in sustainability and energy, including Vanessa Georg, International Development Manager at SeaCleaners; Thierry Denzenclos, Country Manager at Veolia Middle East; and Dr. Mohammed Abdelhameed, a chemist and scientist at New York University Abu Dhabi. These experts presented the sustainable solutions developed by their respective organizations to combat plastic overconsumption and overproduction. Veolia introduced its innovative solution, RECAPP, a platform that facilitates collaboration between manufacturers, consumers, and recyclers, providing consumers with accurate information on packaging recycling methods and enabling tracking throughout the recycling process. SeaCleaners showcased “The Manta,” their ambitious project involving a boat designed to clean the oceans.

The success of the Night of Ideas 2023 highlights the commitment and ingenuity of the participating students, who demonstrated their dedication to finding sustainable alternatives to plastic consumption. In the context of the upcoming COP28, this event served as a significant platform to inspire and mobilize change. It is evident that the collaboration between educational institutions, environmental organizations, and industry leaders is vital in addressing the global challenge of plastic pollution.

As the world collectively works towards a more sustainable future, events like the Night of Ideas play a crucial role in fostering innovation and nurturing the next generation of environmental leaders. By empowering students and providing them with opportunities to showcase their ideas and solutions, we can accelerate progress towards a world free from plastic pollution.