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  • Andy Teale

Watch: Our Impact and Future Plans

The road so far...

At Eco Brixs HQ, we've come a long way over the past three and a half years.

We've grown from a small collection hub, based in a back garden, to an organisation spanning 24 recycling centres across the district of Masaka in Uganda. Furthermore, we've developed from simply collecting and baling plastic (for other organisations to recycle), to an independent entity that can recycle plastic on-site, turning it into new innovative products.

And as part of our sustainable model, we've been purchasing plastic waste from the community, creating thousands of accessible income opportunities whilst tackling the plastic problem.

However, whilst we've come some way, there is still a long way to go. Currently, our capacity only allows us to recycle 20-30 tonnes of waste per month, where hundreds of tonnes of plastic are disposed of each day in Uganda.

Likewise, with the limit on our recycling capacity, this means we can only produce and sell so many Eco-Products per month, which in turn restricts our income and the amount of plastic we can purchase from the community.

However, the future's bright. Later in the year, we're expecting new machinery that will greatly increase our recycling capacity. Through the closed-loop system we're creating with the community, more plastic recycled means more Eco-Products, and selling more items means we have increased funds to purchase more plastic from the community.

As we grow as an organisation, this circular economy described above will gain momentum, spiralling, increasing our environmental, social and economic impact in the local area.

And this is what we wanted to share with you today. In the video above, our CEO Andy, explains Eco Brixs's impact to date, and our plans for the future as we seek to use the Eco Brixs model to help more of Uganda and the developing world.

The impact created through our circular model

As Andy discusses, Eco Brixs's closed-loop model has:

  • Helped 3,000 families earn extra income from recycling plastic, which has injected $40,000 into the community

  • Recycled over 350 tonnes of plastic waste

  • Supported the pupils of 30 schools in returning to education following the COVID-19 pandemic, by establishing a programme that exchanges plastic for school fees

  • Ensured 50% of our team are people from the disabled community

Developing the circular system to grow our impact in the future

Once the new machine lines arrive, this will boost our capacity to recycle plastic waste, so we can recycle 40 tonnes of plastic per month!

The new machines are also more sophisticated than our current lines, so not only will we be able to recycle more and produce more Eco-Products, but we'll be able to:

  • Mass-produce interlocking bricks, which alongside our lumber beams, will present an attractive green option to the Ugandan construction industry, with our products having several advantages over their wooden and concrete counterparts (including being cheaper!)

  • Be the first organisation in East Africa to be able to produce plastic fibre from PET plastic, allowing us to produce water filters and PPE facemasks

Then, as we produce and sell more products, we'll be generating more funds, meaning we can purchase more plastic from the community. Not only will we be able to purchase more plastic from more people, creating more income opportunities, but we'll also be able to raise the price we pay for plastic, helping people financially and raising the standard for living, especially for those living in poverty.

Then, as our closed-loop system grows and we have more resources, we're seeking to:

  • Expand the 'Plastic For Education' programme to help even more schools who are struggling following the pandemic

  • Ensure, as the Eco Brixs team grows, that 50% of it continues to be from the disabled community, helping more people who face barriers to entering the workforce

So as Eco Brixs develops, so will the circular economy we're creating, steadily increasing our impact - more plastic waste recycled, more Eco-Products, and more green jobs.

Eventually, we'll be able to expand the model out across Uganda, and then the developing world - helping to tackle poverty and the plastic problem on a global scale!

There's a long way to go, but the future's bright.

"The future's very green for Eco Brixs." ♻️

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