From Trash to Cash

Ghana is crazy about plastic. The more bags the better and no customer will walk away without at least one “rubber” around their products. At the same time the bags are becoming lighter and lighter to save the shop owners money and often the bag barely lasts to reach its destination and can never be used again.

Not so long ago, before the flood of cheap plastic, reached Ghana, things were very different. People went to the market with a basket and most of the foodstuff  was wrapped in paper or banana leaves. One had to send his or her own plate  buy food or another option will be to eat the food at the joint. We bought water stored in pots and drank from cups provided by the sellers. Inorganic waste such as plastic take up to 1000 years to decompose while Styrofoam and plastic bottles can last up to 1 million years!

988851_10201967805502201_7711222178165908092_nGhana, has a waste management problem and unless we change habits it will only become worse. Last year ,the Achimota dump site was decommissioned as a result demonstrations and heels of deepening public outcry over the dumping of Accra’s solid waste in the sub-urban community. As the country look for alternative land for dumpsite, we should also consider promoting segregation and recycling of waste. A change of behaviour  towards the environment will go a long way to solve part of the problem, by practising the three R’s which include recycling, Reusing  and Reducing.

 

Some plastic companies like Blow Plast Company Limited and Tenlong Company  have taken  recycling initiative by buying plastic waste from people. The plastic waste is recycled to make other plastic products.

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Hipsters of Nature has already identified many sellers in the market who are in need of used bottles. Papa Kofi sells used plastic bottles, containers and sacks at the Mallata Market. He buys clean recycled materials from scavengers and pay them depending on the quantity supplied.

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Davi also has her shop in the Mallata Market. She buys used plastic bottles, glass bottles, sacs and used containers from scavengers who are popularly called ‘Korluba’. The Korluba business used to be dominated by men but now women have also joined in the business by collecting drinking sachet bags and bottles on the streets and selling them to recycling companies. She has been in the business for 15 years and uses the money she makes to support her family. She does not realise that her work is helping save the environment as she lamented that people call her all sort of names because she is in the trash business . We explained to her that she is doing an honourable job and promised to supply her free bottles on our next visit.

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Hipsters of nature intends to creates several recycling centres in Accra and build a chain of supply. This will help recycle plastic bottles, protect the environment in our country and also provide businesses with sustainable, environmentally friendly materials.

When we segregate our waste it saves the Korluba man or woman the time ,money and energy he uses in washing the used bottles that get mixed up in all the waste.

Do you have any plastic bottles you would like give away or  interested in partnering with us in this project?