There is no formal waste management system in Uganda, while 600 tonnes of plastic is disposed of every day. 90% of this goes to landfill or is burnt illegally. Besides this, poverty is widespread, especially among young people and vulnerable groups. A quarter of the population, 11 million people, live in poverty and 83% of 15-24-year-olds are unemployed. 80% of those who have a disability live in poverty, because they are seen as ‘unemployable’.
By paying people for every kilogram of plastic they bring, EcoBrixs is creating income opportunities for everyone, including those living in poverty. In turn, this is creating a significant impact on the local economy. Furthermore, the plastic waste problem is tackled by turning the plastic waste into new products, which are available and affordable for the local community. Products that are already being produced are bricks (the “Eco Brixs”), fence posts, and acting on the needs during the covid pandemic, face shields.
To keep making a positive impact on the environment and people’s lives, EcoBrixs needs to optimize their production process. EcoBrixs faces several (technical) challenges, such as:
- How to produce high-quality moulds locally?
- What innovative new products could be produced with the existing machines?
- How to create a washing line to clean the plastic waste?