We will deliver a triple win for people living in poverty: Improved health, improved environment and income generation through job creation
This project will:
- collect plastic waste and recycle it into paving blocks for the construction industry
- protect the environment
- create jobs for the most vulnerable people in society
The project is based in Masaka, Uganda.
Currently, there is no formal waste collection system in Uganda.
- More than 600 tonnes of plastic are dumped every day
- 90% of this waste is burnt or sent to landfill.
- Fumes produced by open burning pollute the atmosphere with dangerous toxins.
- Stagnant water collecting in plastic waste provides the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes: Uganda has the sixth-highest rate of malaria in Africa, with approximately 10,500 deaths annually.
- 60% of roaming cattle die every year from consuming plastic in Uganda, which in turn destroys people’s livelihoods
Uganda has twice introduced a ban on single-use plastic bags but this has twice been overturned because of powerful business interests.
Uganda has the third-fastest-growing population in the world. This is leading to increasing unemployment rates, especially among the youth. Competition for jobs is squeezing most out of the professional workforce.
Our partners Eco Brixs will:
- Focus on vulnerable communities, namely young people (who make up 83% of the population of Masaka) and people living with a disability. Currently, 50% of Eco Brixs staff are disabled.
- Recycle plastics into paving blocks at three factory production lines, having developed an innovative plastic-sand composite paver to manufacture. This will provide cheaper, stronger, lighter and more sustainable materials for a burgeoning construction industry.
- Provide an income for waste collectors in the vicinity of these factories. For every tonne of plastic collected, 350,000 Ugandan Shillings are paid. (The average monthly wage in Masaka is 150,000 UGX.)
- Raise awareness of the dangers of plastic and promoting recycling. Eco Clubs have been established in a number of schools across Masaka, and, with government support, there are plans for Eco Clubs to become established in 16 universities and 160 schools.
- Lobby the government for greater investment in recycling and for environmental protection and recycling to become part of the national curriculum.
The project in numbers
- This programme will set up three block paving factories over the course of three years and recycle up to 30 tonnes of plastic per month per factory as production lines are established.
- It will create 90 full-time jobs in recycling factories across three districts, with women employed in 50% of the management roles.
- It will provide income for 3,000 people within each district who will be employed to collect plastic that is supplied to each block paving factory.
- 50% of the staff at each new factory will be people living with a disability.
It is hoped this scalable model will be replicated in other districts, and ultimately across Uganda. The three-year project includes plans to set up a recycling plant for unemployed young people in refugee camps in Arua district.