Thank you for supporting Pauline!
Your Plastic is helping her to pay her bills and support her family
The disposal of plastic waste is one of Uganda's biggest challenges. There are no formal waste collection services.
Over 600 tonnes of plastic is disposed of every day, with over 90% of it ending up in unsafe landfills or being burnt.
This endangers both the environment and people.
But Resource Recovery Agents like Paulina are helping us to change this!
YOUR PLASTIC HAS COME FROM NAKUYA PAULINA
This is a story of a beneficiary community collection manager at Eco Brixs.
Paulina started collecting plastic late in her life as a way to support the 9 grandchildren she has become the prime caregiver for. She works in plastic collection flexibly whilst also managing her subsistence farm which has struggled to produce enough food to support her family in recent years.
Paulina through recycling earns UGX. 367,000 a month (43% above the national poverty line in Uganda) and recycles 520kg of plastic a month through which she uses to help educate her grandchildren. She also acts as an advocate for increasing the number of women earning from recycling within her fishing community in Lambu.
Where does Paulina operate? –
Paulina manages a Buy Back Centre on Lambu Island, a tiny island in Central Uganda. It's situated nearby to the lakeside fishing villages of Bukakata and Bunado. You can see where Paulina collects plastic on the map!
Baseline situation –
Paulina did not have a stable income or market for her goods before joining Eco Brixs. Of the 9 grandchildren, only 3 attended formal education. She had heard of plastic collection as a possible income opportunity but didn’t know how to access the market even though she had started plastic collection within her house.
This is how much plastic Paulina helps us to recycle in a single delivery!
Paulina heard about Eco Brixs from another plastic waste collector within the neighbouring fishing community called Godfrey. She then reached out directly to Eco Brixs to understand more and was connected to our collection manager Daniel Kayemba. She has now been given a contract to collect plastic her GPS location has been taken to be logged onto the developing Interactive Recycling Map and she receives a steady income.
She is further supported by Eco Brixs directly collecting from her site. This measure was put in place when our Female Liaison Officer Martha Nalukenge was made aware of Paulina’s challenges after completing site visits across registered collectors of Eco Brixs. This helps Paulina with a more stable income as before she would rely on piggybacking on unreliable trucks to deliver her waste plastic materials.
"My 6 grandchildren are now going to school, thanks to the money I earn from collecting plastic from the community. Them being in school is a joy I carry in my heart. I am grateful to Eco Brixs for this opportunity."
- Paulina, reflecting on how plastic collection has helped her
Paulina now earns Ugx. 367,000 a month in stable income through recycling alone. Which enables her to cover the education of 6 of her grandchildren.
She still experiences some stigma from the community in relation to waste collection which is seen as a dirty profession but this changes as the community sees her and her family progressing. We want to do more local radio publicity to ensure we reach the local communities on the ground. The more rural communities listen to local radio over national radio which doesn’t have good coverage in their communities.
She now has overalls and the right PPE equipment to ensure her work is completed in safer working conditions.
She has become a member of The Uganda Recycling Association (TURA) the Unionizing body established by Eco Brixs to protect the rights of our informal waste pickers. She engaged in the voting process to elect the officials to represent her and other waste pickers on the board of TURA. She had never voted before and was impressed in the transparency of the process and how anyone could speak to nominate or apply themselves for the role.
Eco Brixs HQ is located in Southern Ugandan in Masaka District.
Here, we recycle the waste collected by our Resource Recovery Agents (like Paulina) into brand-new items of value, which we call Eco-Products.