Tag Archives: job creation

Conserve/India – handbags from recycled plastic creates jobs for urban poor

conserve1Trashy Fashion From India

Plastic bags are a plague. They can be found in just about every corner of the planet— in fields, trees, rivers, oceans and even in the stomachs of birds and sea creatures around the globe.

They don’t biodegrade in landfills and almost every piece of plastic ever made is still in existence today.

Enter Anita Ahuja, founder and president of Conserve, based in India. Anita has come up with a way to upcycle the plastic bags plaguing her region and also help numerous people find gainful employment. The result is Conserve’s stunning range of bags made from recycled plastic. We caught up with Anita to ask her a few questions about her fashionable eco-bags and her amazing enterprise.

Please tell us a bit about Conserve.
Along with support and encouragement from my family and friends I established Conserve, a non-profit organization in 1998 with a mandate to work in the area of energy efficiency and waste management. In 2002, Conserve started working on developing an alternative recycling or rather up-cycling process that uses abundantly and freely available bags as a resource for income generation for the urban poor through their conversion into a “renewed” material which we call HRP – Handmade Recycled Plastic.

Conserve has trained people from urban slums of Delhi to process waste into recycled sheets, which is more energy efficient and environmentally friendly than conventional recycling processes. This process converts used polythene bags into a ‘renewed’ innovative material with significantly different properties and great visual appeal, without the use of any additional colour or dyes.

Conserve’s process of recycling is far more environmentally and energy friendly than the conventional plastic recycling process. Moreover, it is very good for the environment as it uses existing everyday skills of local people. Now Conserve is supporting nearly 100 rag pickers and has about 50 employees working for them.

Read More

South Africa – Rural sanitation project creates jobs, saves lives

Nokuthula Mamkayi was one of hundreds of jobless youth in the Eastern Cape. Feeding her two young children presented a daily challenge. But all that changed this year for the young 28-year-old, with the rollout of a sanitation project in the Alfred Nzo District Municipality.

Ms Mamkayi is one of the 87 community members taking part in the rural household VIP Sanitation project in Potseng, which is part of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) started towards the end of 2004.

The project focuses on the manufacturing of materials to be used in the construction of the VIPs in villages including bricks, floor and roof slabs.

Ms Mamkayi, who is an orphan, told BuaNews that before the opportunity arose to work on the project, she used to go to bed at night with an empty stomach. But that is no longer the case.

“I’m now a person just like other people who are able to support their children and sleep with full stomachs, the project has saved my life,” she said.

The rollout of the project was hastened after the district was hit by severe storms, damaging houses and weak toilet facilities.

The district decided on brick and mortar structures moving away from the previous corrugated iron structures that always collapsed during storms and harsh weather conditions.

The project, which was also meant to address the high rate of unemployment within the district, is divided into seven zones and is run by a project steering committee with the communities making cement blocks, roof slabs, floor slabs and pedestals. The committee decides on and also leads the delivery of sanitation in rural areas.

More – BuaNews Online