WasteAid’s third annual photography competition attracted fascinating entries from across the world – thank you to everyone who entered!

 

The 2021 WasteAid calendar showing “The Wonders of Waste” is on sale now.

We would like to take this opportunity to congratulations all the winners! The top three win prizes, and all selected photographers will receive a free copy of the WasteAid calendar.

Waste and recycling is hugely diverse and full of innovation and creativity. Reviewing the entries to the Wonders of Waste photo competition is always a pleasure, and every year we learn something new.

Feast your eyes on this year’s 12 winning photos, each of which is a celebration of re-use and recycling, and the heroes in every corner of the globe who are turning a pollution problem into an opportunity.

Enjoy the slideshow or scroll down for the gallery. All the winning pictures feature in the 2021 WasteAid calendar.

The overall winners are:

Members of the Kinawataka Women's Initiative in Kampala, Uganda, weave plastic straws into crafts such as bags, mats and jewellery to provide an income for their households, by Benedicta Ngoyanga

Weaving crafts from plastic straws, by Benedicta Ngoyanga in Kampala, Uganda

  

“Members of the Kinawataka Women’s Initiative in Kampala, Uganda, weave plastic straws into crafts such as bags, mats and jewellery to provide an income for their households.

Women in Kolkata, India, sort and prepare cement bags made from woven plastic for re-use, by Sandipani Chattopadhyay

Re-using cement bags, by Sandipani Chattopadhyay in Kolkata, India

 

“Women in Kolkata, India, sort and prepare cement bags made from woven plastic for re-use.”

"Make Spoons/Bracelets, not War," in Laos, by Chinch Gryniewicz

“Make Spoons, Not War”, by Chinch Gryniewicz in Laos

 

“A woman metalworker casts spoons made from recycled aluminium sourced from shell casings and other war debris, and melted in an earthen kiln, in a remote ethinic Lao Lum village in Laos, Southeast Asia. Ban Naphia is known as the “War Spoon/Bracelet Village” where bomb and plane metal from the Second Indochina war is melted down and moulded into spoons and bracelets. Their motto is “Make Spoons/Bracelets, not War”.”

The other winning photos of “The Wonders of Waste” competition

Waste is considered a nuisance, but indeed it is a mindset. From the viewpoint of this plastic recycler, in Ilorin, Nigeria, plastic waste is seen as a resource and would get a seat on the ride. Such a Wonder of Waste, by Victor Amusa

Riding with waste as a resource, by Victor Amusa in Ilorin, Nigeria

  

“Waste is considered a nuisance, but indeed it is a mindset. From the viewpoint of this plastic recycler, plastic waste is seen as a resource and would get a seat on the ride. Such a Wonder of Waste.”

Plastic waste has been collected from local Caribbean beaches in Bonaire. The sculpture of the pink flamingo reminds us that we need to protect precious wildlife from plastic pollution, by Dr. Tania Dey

Pink Flamingo, by Colin Livingstone in Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean

 

“Pink flamingo made from recycled plastic taken off the local beaches. Photo taken at the harbour in Kralendijk, The capital of Bonaire, a Dutch island in the Caribbean Sea.”

Women in Rampurhat in West Bengal, India, sort plastic waste ready for recycling, to prevent it from polluting the environment and to provide an income for their families, by Enamul Kabir

Reprocessing of waste, by Enamul Kabir in West Bengal, India

 

“The picture is from Rampurhat in Birbhum district of West Bengal, India. In the picture, there is an attempt to replace the discarded and discarded things in the society. Waste pollutes the environment and protects its hands, as well as paving the way for earning.”

"Sea Song Sang", a magical story boat in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, by Chinch Gryniewicz

“Sea Song Sang” by Chinch Gryniewicz in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

 

“”Sea Song Sang”, the Seven Stories boat built from waste and recycled materials and solar-powered by artist Andy Comley (in cooperation with children from nine schools, imagining a magical story boat and the journeys it might take) moored at Seven Stories (in the renovated historic Procter’s Warehouse building), the UK Centre for Children’s Books. Lime Street, Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, UK.”

A young man manages his stall at the largest waste material fair in India, in West Bengal, by Sourav Das

Secondhand electronics, by Sourav Das in West Bengal, India

 

“A young man manages his stall at the largest waste material fair in India, in West Bengal.”

Many residents of Bezekela, an informal settlement in Newtown, Johannesburg, South Africa, reclaim materials from wealthier neighbourhoods for recycling. Bezekela means persistence or patience in isiZulu. The reclaimers struggle with the stigma around their jobs, and they work with great persistence to reclaim a better future, by Joppe Ruts

We are Bekezela, by Joppe Ruts in Johannesburg, South Africa

“The photo was taken at Bekezela, an informal settlement in Newtown, Johannesburg, South Africa. Most of the residents call themselves reclaimers (also known as waste-pickers), those who reclaim or collect recyclable and reusable materials in bins at the city’s high income areas. Bekezela means persistence, or be patient in isiZulu, a meaning its residents embody remarkably well. Day after day the reclaimers struggle with the stigma around their jobs, but still they are waiting patiently for the right opportunities, they keep working hard and with great persistence to be seen and to be heard, to ‘reclaim’ the right to the city, to reclaim a (better) future. These qualities, this resilience and persistence they show, are unique and of a proportion I never encountered anywhere else. The reclaimer on the photo just returned with a load of paper and cardboard. The photo was taken Saturday 7th of September 2019, while I was conducting ethnographic fieldwork with the reclaimers.”

Single-use plastic bottles are one of the greatest roadblocks in the fight against plastic pollution, with many eventually polluting the ocean and endangering marine life. This technique of growing plants in Kolkata, India, is ideal for people with limited space and water, by Sudip Maiti

Garden in a bottle, by Sudip Maiti in Kolkata, India 

“This photograph is taken in my friend’s rooftop garden. Frequent use of plastic bottles is one of the most important roadblocks in the fight against plastic products. These single use plastic bottles end up in the trash, and eventually pollute the ocean and endanger marine life. One of the creative ways to use a plastic bottle is to grow plants in limited space and conserve water. Also starting a garden can be a useful project in the times of a global pandemic.

Fertiliser is manufactured from the waste of the leather-making process in Kolkata, India. At night a long low flame will turn this leather waste into fertiliser, enabling it to be used for agriculture at a very low cost, by Sandipani Chattopadhyay

Both sides of the environment, by Sandipani Chattopadhyay in Kolkata, India

“Fertiliser manufacturing from the flakes and rejected part of raw leather. This is the easiest way to recycle the leather waste. At night long low flame will turn this to this to the fertiliser. A huge amount of leather waste is transformed to fertiliser and can be used for agriculture at a very low cost.”

Recycling broker in Vientane, Laos, by Nicholas Bosoni

The owner of a recycling centre, by Nicholas Bosoni in Vientane, Laos

“The owner of a recycling centre in Vientiane Capital, Laos. Recyclable materials collected by waste pickers are sold to buying centers at a fixed daily rate, generally within the same day. The daily rates for recyclables are exposed on the right of the subject. On average a street waste picker makes around seven dollars a day. Iron is the most profitable item to collect, but often waste pickers do not have enough cash to buy it from the source.

2021 WasteAid Calendar

Limited edition – reserve your 2021 WasteAid calendar today!

Enjoy the wonders of waste all year round.

Perfect for home or the workplace, our A3 WasteAid wall calendars are printed in full colour on high quality 100% post-consumer recycled paper. Each calendar is wire bound at the head and includes thumb slot with hanging hook.

You will be able to buy your copy of the calendar from our website towards the end of September. Order yours today from the WasteAid shop. They also make great gifts…

All money raised from the calendar will be used to support the spread of recycling skills around the world.

Thanks again to everyone who entered, and to the generous judges and sponsors, for joining us in celebrating the wonders of waste!

WasteAid 2021 Calendar

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