October Newsletter ♻️ Reopening our Collection Network for Education
Over the past month, we've continued our push to develop our closed-loop system in Uganda. Simultaneously, we've also been working to support the communities around us through this challenging time.
As part of our efforts, we've recently reopened our plastic collection network as part of our 'Plastic for Education' programme', which aims to support students as they return to school following lockdown in Uganda.
Likewise, our recycled COVID-19 Face Shields have also been helping deaf students in the classroom, who rely on lip-reading.
We've also got news to share on the latest innovations at Eco Brixs HQ via our photoblog, and we'd like to invite you to a digital event, hosted with our partners 'Engineers without Borders.'
Oh, and we ask the question... "Just how strong is one of our new lumbar poles?", which are made from recycled plastic.
OUR PLASTIC COLLECTION NETWORK REOPENS
For the first time in over six months, we can finally say, once again, "We buy your plastic!" to the local community!
During the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, we took the decision to close our network of recycling centres as Uganda went into strick lockdown.
However, as restrictions gradually eased and we were allowed to reopen, we were hit by another challenge - the international market which purchases plastic waste has remained closed.
This has been especially challenging for us, as until we have fully established our own closed-loop system and can sell the Eco-Products that we create from plastic waste, we have been reliant on selling bails of plastic to countries such as India to recycle it, in order to fund our collection network and in turn pay people for their plastic.
However, thanks to the support of our partners and our ability to now produce some products, we're able to reopen the network and buy plastic by the kilogram from the community again.
For the initial reopening of the network, we are focusing on buying plastic from local schools, under our 'Plastic for Education Programme'. This is to provide vital support and income to these organisations and their students following lockdown.
Unfortunately, Ugandan pupils are required to pay school fees each term in order to attend education. However, with many families now struggling financially following a lengthy lockdown (with no government support), many children are unable to return to school.
Therefore, Eco Brixs is encouraging pupils to collect plastic and take it to school, where it can be weighed and exchanged for cash vouchers to cover the cost of their school fees.
In the photo above, you can see the teachers being trained at our HQ, so they can facilitate the programme. Once they receive the plastic, they will offset it against the student's fees, using the vouchers, and then Eco Brixs will pay for the plastic when it collects it to be taken back to the main site for recycling.
We've had a number of schools already join us in this initiative, and we're excited to see how many pupils can turn plastic into education' over the coming weeks!
HOW OUR PLASTIC FACE SHIELDS ARE HELPING DEAF STUDENTS IN THE CLASSROOM
Sarah explains how the visors help students to learn in the classroom
In addition to helping mainstream schools this month, Eco Brixs also had the privilege of supporting deaf students at Masaka SNE (Special Needs Education) School by providing teachers and students with COVID-19 Plastic Face Shields.
Unlike fabric masks that cover the mouth, the plastic face shields allow students to lip-read, which helps them learn, whilst still helping to protect them from the Coronavirus.
In the video above, the headteacher of the school, Sarah, explains this and shares her gratitude, and you can also see the face shields in action in the classroom as the children learn!
TAKE A TOUR OF ECO BRIXS'S NEW HQ!
Our latest photoblog takes you on a tour of the new Eco Brixs Main Site and shows you how it's drastically changed over the past six months, from a simple collection facility to an environmentally-friendly factory complex, which makes Eco-Products.
From the new machines to the recently added 'Education Hub', you can see the new site via our a series of images in our latest blog: "Photoblog: 5 Innovations we've made to Eco Brixs HQ to help tackle Uganda's plastic problem".
JOIN OUR VIRTUAL EVENT AND HELP SOLVE UGANDA'S PLASTIC PROBLEM!
On 6th November, we are holding a virtual event in partnership with the charity, 'Engineers without Borders', as we run a workshop to help solve some of the challenges Eco Brixs faces in it mission to set up a closed-loop system.
We're especially keen for individuals with plastic recycling background, or those with a technical, business or systems perspective to attend, as we discuss:
- How to produce high-quality moulds for Eco-Products
- What new Eco-Products could be made with the current machines
- How we could create a washing line to clean the plastic waste
So if you enjoy solving problems and would like to help us in our efforts to support Uganda in managing its plastic waste, please register for the event via this link here.
AND FINALLY...JUST HOW STRONG IS LUMBAR??
Sinan puts our 100% recycled pole to the test!
Since the new machines arrived at Eco Brixs HQ, one of the key items we're been able to produce through recycling plastic waste is Lumbar, which we've been using to make fence posts or furniture.
Normally, in the manufacturing industry, lumbar is often made from wood. However, our eco-friendly poles have several advantages: they're stronger, don't rust, aren't susceptible to termites, and each remove 6kg of plastic from the environment!
But "how strong," you ask? Well, Sinan from the team has filmed this video to show you! :)
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