In a bid to both conserve the environment and make ends meet, a group of youths in Kisumu County is now turning plastic waste into new household products.
Solid waste management remains one of the biggest problems in achieving sustainable urbanization in many towns and cities in Kenya.
In an effort to help solve this problem in the Manyatta area in Kisumu Town, a group of youths came together a year ago and mooted an idea.
The group called Precious Plastic Manyatta collects plastic waste from the community, schools, institutions, and dumpsites. They then clean the plastics, sort out and recycle them into fancy household products.
The recycling process involves sorting of the plastics according to their types, i.e Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), Polypropylene (PP), and Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE).
The plastics are then shredded using the shredding machine into small flakes, which are then molded into new products using the extrusion and compression machines.
Some of their products include lampshades, flower vessels, bowls, litter bins, fruit baskets, doorknobs, and masks.
Their major market ranges from events, organizations, households and online through their platforms.
Speaking to Kenyans. co.ke, Alice Moraa, the project manager, says the initiative has managed to reduce plastic waste in the area. She further says they have also sensitized the community on how to handle plastics by maximizing their usage, and proper disposal.
In a report released by National geographic, production of plastics has increased from 2.3 million tons in 1950 to 448 million tons by 2015. The report further states that production is expected to double by 2050.
“Many of the plastic waste ends up in the marine ecosystem, which is greatly affecting the aquatic animals,” Moraa says.
To help in achieving sustainable urbanization, the project steers towards reducing environmental pollution through Solid Waste Management. The project has also helped the youths in acquiring income through the sales of the household products.