Pwani Youth Network (PYN) and Plastiki Rafiki CBO have entered into a partnership to recycle plastic waste in Mombasa County, Bangladesh informal settlement.
Plastic Rafiki is (a student-led club at the International School of Kenya) based in Nairobi, involved in combating plastic pollution by empowering communities to earn a living by recycling plastics through creating manufacturing techniques and product designs.
Speaking during a community clean up exercise and the launch of the recycling project at the Bangladesh informal settlement, Pwani Youth Network CEO and founder Alfred Sigo said the aim of the partnership is to accelerate the transformation of plastic waste—otherwise discarded into the natural environment—into a valuable commodity and promote a circular plastic economy.
Sigo said bringing in the much-needed knowledge, networks, and expertise in the plastic recycling value chain will help in addressing the environmental pollution and at the same time create employment to the community.
He said the efforts will go a long way in not only improving the livelihoods of workers in the plastic recycling sector but also have a net impact on the reduction of litter that ends up in the ocean and chokes marine biodiversity.
The CEO said the project is intended to process the recyclable material into valuable raw material and feed it back into plastic manufacturers’ supply chain.
“Bangladesh is not clean the way we would want it to be and globally it is said if we continue littering our environment, we will end up having more plastic in the sea than fish,” Said Sigo.
The CEO has also urged the County government of Mombasa to provide a lasting solution in addressing the garbage menace which is choking the tourist resort city.
The partnership also strives to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by improving livelihoods for young women and men, improving logistics and skills around the business case on collecting, sorting and processing waste in Coastal Kenya.
Plastiki Rafiki Team Leader Kurt Gugelov said the CBO is conducting awareness programs in the country to empower the communities to clean and protect the environment by promoting and sponsoring rubbish collection drives in targeted natural spaces.
He said the CBO is networking with like-minded organisations trying to work towards a cleaner, greener Kenya through empowering communities to tackle plastic pollution problems independently.
“We are conducting workshops all over the country focusing on recycling plastics from the streets and turning it into useful products for decorations,” he said.
[Plastiki Rafiki Team Leader Kurt Gugelov Pwani Youth Network CEO and founder Alfred Sigo during the clean-up exercise in Bangladesh, Jomvu Sub county. Photo/Ahmed Omar/ Sept’ 22, 2022].
Every day, an average of 2,000 tonnes of plastic objects are imported or produced in Kenya, with 100 tonnes of related wastes ending up in rivers and the Indian Ocean.
Kenya is producing over 380 million tons of plastic every year, and some reports indicate that up to 50% of that is for single-use purposes – utilised for just a few moments.