The problem has several roots. First, it is an attitudinal problem of the city’s inhabitants, who litter indiscriminately on the streets. Second, there is insufficient funding for the city’s waste management, which is responsible for waste collection and street sweeping services. Finally, there is a regular practice of indiscriminate dumping of refuse into drains and open spaces.
In an attempt to tackle the plastic waste menace in Kumasi, the Kumasi Hub of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers is spearheading an initiative that upcycles plastic waste. Born of a desire to reduce the city’s mountain of waste and help create employment opportunities for street youth and the physically challenged, the “Trash to Treasures” project rescues some of this plastic waste, which is wreaking environmental havoc, and converting this unwanted waster into beautiful, durable, affordable, cost- effective and environmentally-friendly products through upcycling.
The Trash to Treasures has developed an impressive system of production for their products. Street youth and the physically challenged gather plastic waste from the streets of Kumasi and bring them back to the shop where the plastic is thoroughly cleaned, dried, and then fused together to come out with decorative products. Since its inception, the Trash to Treasures has impacted the lives of thousands of people in the city where we help manage its plastic waste. The support from
The social story of how these upcycled products support the livelihood of street youth is equally compelling. “We hope our upcycled products will inspire others to recycle post-consumer products into beautiful utilitarian items,” says Rosalin Abigail Kyere-Nartey the Curator of the Kumasi Hub. "Our innovation is developing an alternative use to an otherwise unwanted waste products, which is making positive economic and environmental impact Kumasi.’’
To see more of the impact of the “Turning Trash to Treasures” project, please check out this video.
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