Plastic waste recycling offers job opportunities for the youth
5/24/2012 11:40:11 PM -
Plastic waste disposal constitutes one of the major environmental sanitation challenges to city authorities in Ghana.
Managing solid waste does not only come at huge financial cost to the - in areas of collection and disposal - but poses serious health risks to most communities.
An innovative social enterprise has however set out to rescue some of the millions of plastic trash and other waste materials from Ghana's waste stream by turning such waste into high fashion goods whiles creating employment opportunities, restoring dignity and financial independence for the youth.
The Recycle Not A Waste Initiative or RECNOWA trains and employs street youth from disadvantaged communities to clear their streets of such waste and applying creative talents to transform them into handmade designer products.
The Initiative currently engages about 25 young people in the Greater Accra Region but plans to scale up to other regions of the country.
'We've been contributing our quota to help the city waste management services and whatever Zoomlion [Ghana Limited] and other players in the field are doing. Apart from that we've also been able to create employment opportunities and getting people who might not have anything from just taking the trash and making some money', stated Kwaku Yamoah Kyei Co-founder and Global Strategist of the Initiative.
Processed products from the waste materials include bags, wallets, jewellery, footwear, furniture and home décor that are ethically produced and eco-friendly.
The products are mainly patronized by foreign tourists though Ghanaians are also fascinated by the artistic designs and creativities.
The RECNOWA was among five Ghanaian projects that won the recent SEED Initiative Awards, founded by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and partners.
The award, Kwaku believes, serves as good foundation to attract funding and build the capacity of artisans and street youth to lift them out of poverty.
He has declared the readiness of RECNOWA to support the youth in local communities to tap into opportunities in waste recycling to be financially independent.
'It is not only about responding to the call of protecting mother nature but it's also about opportunity for yourself to create something for yourself and our doors are always opened and we're ready to share with other young people who are interested in replicating such a project', urged the RECNOWA Co-founder.
Story by Kofi Adu Domfeh/Luv Fm/Ghana