In this context, “upcycling” refers, for example, to the reuse of worn clothing, broken household appliances and disposable materials for use in a new functional product. It is assumed that this is more sustainable than traditional energy-intensive recycling, in which waste flows are converted back to their original raw material.
Recycling & Upcycling
In 2017 we helped initiate the Masaka Recycling Initiative, a non-profit project aimed at recycling plastic. This was a good step in the right direction; in recent years we have extracted no less than 250,000 kilos of plastic from the environment, let $ 100,000 flow into the local economy and gave more than 2,500 extra people income. However ..
Every day 600,000 kilos of plastic are added in Uganda alone.. You read that right; 600,000 kilos of plastic and approximately 90% of this ends up in one of the countless landfills. The vast majority of the Ugandan population thinks that the plastic is not good for the soil (correct) and that it should therefore be incinerated (not correct!).
But why is it that only 10% of all plastic is recycled?
Problems with plastic recycling
Logistics & Price
The biggest problem is the location where plastics are recycled. What you see on the map on the right is only the first part; in Mombasa it is loaded onto a ship and transported to India or China. There it is processed and then the semi-finished product goes back to Africa.
In addition to the enormous ecological damage caused by transport by truck and boat, it is of course also extremely expensive. As a result, the price for the plastic is very low and therefore the incentive to pick it up is very small. Especially if you are not really aware of the damage it does to the environment.
Right! We must think in solutions and not in problems. We must prevent the transport and add value to the almost worthless plastic on location.
This is where upcycling appears because the possibilities with plastic bottles are almost endless! We believe that with a small investment we can start an upcycle project that can operate independently in no time. We are going to place flower pots and lampshades at hotels and restaurants; the perfect way to gain exposure from potential buyers. Since it is waste, it costs (almost) nothing and we can sell the products for a nice price!
Once we make a profit, it is not difficult to start the project in new places!
To start this project with a duration of a year, we only need $ 900. With this amount we can pay someone a good wage for a year and buy all the tools we need. What do you think? Good idea? Then please support us with a small donation!