The current state of how plastic is dealt with in Uganda is a concerning one. There is no formal means of collecting waste in Uganda, and over 600 tons of plastic is disposed of every day. Of which, only 40% of the waste is formally accounted for and taken to landfill, which is often burnt, releasing damaging fumes into both the environment and nearby communities.
To make matters more complicated, of the few recycling initiatives which do exist in Uganda, they can only recycle specific types of plastics. This makes the act of recycling complex for people to use.
How We're Tackling the Situation
In response to this, we're revolutionising the way plastic is dealt with in Uganda! We offer people a way to easily and conveniently recycle their plastic, whilst also incentivising the behaviour through a cash reward.
In order to encourage people to bring us their plastic, we give them cash for each kilogram of plastic they bring to us. We realise changing people's habits can be hard and after years of burning plastic (because of a lack of alternatives), the best way to encourage change quickly is to offer people a reward.
This process also helps tackle another problem in Uganda too - poverty! By offering people cash for their plastic, it is providing them with a revenue stream. We especially encourage those living with disabilities to bring us their plastic, as they often find it difficult to find work due to the stigma associated with having a disability.
Our widespread connection network in the Masaka District makes the service convenient for people to use as well, as we base our sites near busy community hubs where people will often go in their day-to-day lives.
Furthermore, by being the only organisation in Uganda to recycle all types of plastic, we're making things easy, and simplifying recycling for everyone involved!
How We've Made a Difference So Far!
Here are some examples of how we've made a difference in Uganda so far, and made a huge environmental and community impact!
We've removed 180 tons of plastic waste from the district so far, helping to clean up Masaka, reduce the amount burnt at landfill, and protect the environment
By buying every kilogram of plastic brought to us, we've injected UGX 157,114,000 back into the local economy
We've provided over 1,000 individuals with an additional income for their plastic - many of whom are vulnerable groups eg. those living below the poverty line and those with disabilities. This has even led to some entrepreneurial citizens making plastic collection their full-time work!
We've set up 16 Collection Sites across the district, making the service convenient to use, and also allowing us to recycle 15 tons of plastic waste per month.
By incentivising the recycling of plastic, we're encouraging both individuals and businesses to reflect on how they treat all their waste and to change their habits!