WasteAid is training a team in the coastal village of Gunjur, the Gambia, to capture and recycle ocean-bound plastics.
This is a two-year project funded by UK Aid, under the Small Charities Challenge Fund. It is a pilot project to demonstrate the viability of this approach in other disadvantaged communities.
The first class of 30 trainees completed their course in January 2019. Participants are unemployed youth, marginalised women and people with disabilities, recruited through the local Trust Agency for Rural Development.
We are also training 24 trainers from partner organisation Women’s Initiative the Gambia. They will train other communities around the country, empowering more people to prevent plastic pollution.
The first class completed their recycling training in January 2019. This was followed up with business skills training, delivered in the main local languages of Mandinka and Wolof.
Within 2 months of learning new recycling skills, the team had captured and recycled the equivalent of a million plastic bags!
They are also running a communications campaign in the village of Gunjur. The campaign informs people about the harm caused by burning plastic, and encourages them to save their LDPE plastic bags and wrap, and bring them to the recycling centre.
The team have their first customer! The local gym owner in Gunjur has bought paving tiles from the project. The gym is in the centre of the village and people pass it regularly. They will now be able to see the paving tiles made from plastic waste in Gunjur.
This is an exciting milestone for the recycling team, and we hope the gym owner is the first of many customers.