Here at Eco Brixs HQ in Uganda, where we work on recycling plastic whilst creating income opportunities, we've had lots of exciting developments over the past few weeks and passed some significant milestones.
As you can imagine, one of the key metrics we measure is how much plastic waste we've removed and recycled from the environment!
Unlike the norm in many western countries, Uganda doesn't have waste disposal systems in place. There's no weekly service to collect rubbish from people's homes, or even a centralised place for people to bring it to, which would then normally be dealt with responsibly by a local government organisation.
As a result, this means it's fairly common to see trash dumped everywhere you look in Uganda, whether this be roadsides, streets, communal areas where children play, or even in the picturesque, beautiful rural landscapes the country is so famous for, especially amongst tourist.
Furthermore, the current, and sadly, often only viable method for managing the sheer quantity of waste is to burn it, which presents a major risk to the environment and people's health.
So as a result of the scale of this huge problem, we take pride in every plastic bottle we manage to remove from the environment and recycle.
And that's why we're so thrilled, upon doing the maths and calculations, that we've recycled a massive 9 MILLION PLASTIC BOTTLES since we began just over two years ago!
It makes the summer of 2017 feel like a long time ago now, when our founder, Andy Bownds, frustrated by the lack of waste management systems in Uganda and seeing trash everywhere, decided to start collecting plastic waste in his back garden. Thus, our first unofficial collection site was born in the town of Masaka, and people had a place to bring their plastic waste too!
A few months later, after collecting 2 tonnes of plastic in that garden, Eco Brixs was born, albeit under a different name at that point - as 'Masaka Recycling Initiative'.
There's certainly a long way to go in our journey of solving the plastic problem in Uganda, but we're proud of every milestone we pass, especially when we see the instant impact it's having on the area and people.
Furthermore, as we currently prepare to set up our first machine line to produce Eco-Products, see our collection network continue to grow across the country, and our Eco Clubs educational programme increase, it's looking increasingly likely Eco Brixs will be a major player in cleaning up Uganda's plastic waste.
And all whilst creating thousands and thousands of income opportunities for the local people along the way, empowering them to build their own way out of poverty.
Here's to the next 9 million bottles! ♻️🥂🇺🇬