• Trash talking

    Trash talking

    In Côte d’Ivoire, ground has been broken on a new facility that will see recycled plastic converted into modular bricks.

    The factory is the result of a partnership between UNICEF and Colombian social enterprise Conceptos Plasticos, with the intention to use the durable, low-cost and easy-to-assemble plastic bricks to build school classrooms in the West African country.

    ‘Its potential is threefold: more classrooms for children in Côte d’Ivoire, reduced plastic waste in the environment, and additional income avenues for the most vulnerable families,’ says UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore.

    According to UNICEF, Côte d’Ivoire has a deficit of 15 000 classrooms. Meanwhile, in Abidjan alone, more than 280 tons of plastic waste is produced on a daily basis – most of which ultimately ends up in landfills. The partnership aims to ‘use recycled plastic collected from polluted areas in and around Abidjan to build 500 classrooms for more than 25 000 children’ over the next two years.

    The factory, once fully functional, will recycle 9 600 tons of plastic waste per annum and, in creating a formalised recycling market, provide a source of income to women living in poverty.

    6 August 2019
    Image: UNICEF