The Plastic Collective

Aug 2023Health, Stories

Written by Raina Robinson.

The Plastic Collective is a social enterprise to educate and equip remote communities with facilities to turn plastic waste into a resource. Founder Louise Hardman has seen the impact of plastic firsthand. Rescuing a stranded turtle with a gut full of plastic inspired Louise to establish Resource Recovery Stations in communities to turn plastic into sellable recyclable material using a Shruder, which shreds plastic waste. Each station has a target to recycle 200 tonnes of material per year. This provides economic, environmental, and societal benefits. It empowers communities with knowledge, particularly those with poor infrastructure and high transport costs to manage waste. Many of the resource recovery stations are currently operating across the Australian and South-East Asia region.

In Kenya, one million thongs are found as litter along its coastline per year. Ocean Sole is turning the discarded thongs into artworks.

Ocean Sole organisation had recovered and upcycled over 559 tonnes of thong pollution since it began in 2006, using them to produce 65,000 artworks. The issue was so bad that turtles could no longer use some beaches to nest and lay eggs. Now,15 coastal communities collecting thongs, resulting in economic benefits and cleaner beaches.

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