Recycling is not for the poor, as some may still believe. Recycling is currently a necessity. Doing so means betting on sustainability , that is, on a world with a future. But not only that, because recycling can also become the lifeline to get out of poverty or, at least, to better cope with it.
A boat soon, I can think of two ways to do it: through public policies or through private initiatives. Unfortunately poverty and recycling policies have few practical examples.
- Recycle used soaps
- Social housing with recycled bricks
- Recycle used sneakers
- Objective: recycle water
- Bags from plastic bags
Recycle used soaps
In Haiti, we found an initiative launched by the Anacaona joint-stock company, a soap recycling company that has devised a way to reduce waste and employ many women who are in vulnerable situations .
The idea is very simple : the soaps that, practically unused, are left by the guests of the country’s luxury hotels are recycled. Specifically, there are already 25 hotels that collaborate with this activity. For this, the scraps used are collected for recycling, and in return they receive those that have been recycled.
The process complies with the necessary hygienic sanitary conditions, with which the soaps are disinfected, to be grated and then melted. Finally, ready-to-use soaps are obtained again.
Social housing with recycled bricks
Conceptos Plásticos, a Colombian solidarity-based company, has created recycled plastic bricks whose shape facilitates their assembly to build homes quickly and economically. Another example of solidarity with those most in need, while taking care of the environment.
The cost of a house of about 40 square meters would be around 4,500 euros. An average house needs about 1,300 bricks, the manufacture of which means discharging plastic waste, which is ground, agglutinated, melted and, finally, extruded.
Currently, they are building houses for NGOs or people who can afford them, since they are really cheap. If plastic is collected to help make bricks, it also contributes to the initiative, lowering the final cost.
Recycle used sneakers
In this case, it is more about reuse than recycling . The project has been promoted by the European Secondary Institute of Madrid, it promotes the solidarity campaign #RUNCYCLE, which with the collaboration of Runnics and other organizations.
It ended yesterday, June 20, and consisted of collecting used sneakers to give them a second life on the feet of young people and children in Mozambique. In addition, the shoes are accompanied by drawings and personalized letters by children who collaborate in such a beautiful initiative.
Although it is inevitable to wish that soon these children could buy sneakers with their own money. Be that as it may, many little ones in that country will appreciate them and receive them with as much joy as if they were new.
Objective: recycle water
In this case, the project is a desideratum. That is, it has not yet been carried out, but it is claimed as a measure to help people who do not have drinking water in their homes. Juan Javier Carrillo Sosa, a researcher at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), recalls that one in ten Mexicans does not have access to it.
In many parts of the world, as is well known, drinking water is also an inaccessible luxury for many. A problem of the first order whose solution helps to combat poverty, as the expert emphasizes.
Making water available to everyone, in his opinion, requires recycling. Not all cases are the same, but he proposes to do so taking into account that it is not distributed equally and the irregular availability depending on place and time. Above all, alluding to the inequalities that exist in your country with respect to its distribution.
To improve the situation, it proposes investing in infrastructures that help to recycle it, specifically wastewater treatment, as well as rainwater harvesting. Doing so would undoubtedly help fight poverty as well as conserve the environment.
Bags from plastic bags
This initiative began in Chamcar Bei, a town in Kep province, on the Cambodian coast, and has now spread to other nearby municipalities as well. The key to success is none other than having obtained a free raw material with which to weave fashion accessories, such as bags.
Last but not least, also it becomes the raw material for use in an eco friendly way, simply because it is turning the bags of plastic that are in the streets in skeins with which to weave. Of course, the very activity of collecting waste supposes an environmental care of great value. Ultimately, the result is cleaner cities and a job opportunity for people below the poverty line.
The objective, however, has a rationale that is consistent with trends in European and global politics. Again, the word sustainability is the key, as well as inclusive policies, which help the marginalized population to stop being so.
In short, it would be a way to converge economic and environmental sustainability by doing social justice. A field in which we are still under wraps, but which the signs of the times lead to, in the same way that the Fair Trade formula is making its way.
But these policies are the exception. Recycling and fighting poverty is a binomial with great potential that has not yet begun to take advantage of. At the private level, however, projects do proliferate, as we will see below. In a trickle, it is true, but each initiative is worthy of celebration and, why not, also an example that could spread.
If you want to read more articles similar to 5 recycling projects against poverty , we recommend that you enter our Recycling and waste management category .
Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.