Every day of our lives we come across things that we don’t need anymore. Things change, we want new things and we want to move with the times. It could also be that we want to discard something that has exhausted and needs renewal. All these things fall under the concept of waste. 

Definition of Waste 

Waste (or wastes) are unwanted or unusable materials. Waste is any substance which is discarded after primary use or is worthless, defective and of no use

Types of Waste

Normally,  Waste can be either solid or liquid, both of them could be hazardous to the environment. Recyclable waste is a type of waste that can be repurposed and used again to achieve a different goal/result. Examples are aluminium products, plastics products (bags, bottles, etc), Paper products etc. 

Waste to resource

Waste to resource promotes a different view of how waste can effectively be managed. Rather than view waste as a problem, this views waste as a valuable resource.  Which can be managed to produce sustainable benefits for various purposes. 

At Ecobarter, we are trying to create a circular world. The circular economy simply transcends the linear process of make, use and dump to a system that eliminates waste to a minimum. It ensures that items made are returned back to society to be used again. This is why transforming waste to a resource is an important element in ensuring that we achieve the circular economy that we seek.

 There are different ways by which waste can be turned into something valuable and how we at Ecobarter are changing the narrative. Here are examples of how recyclable waste can be turned to other materials

 

The work Ecobarters doing

Ecobarter is into recovering and redesigning wastes into new products to drive a circular economy while also promoting eco-friendly alternatives to everyday products. In order to achieve this, we are involved in waste collection, collecting recyclables and repurposing waste to useful items. 

Recycling

Recycling is the process of converting waste materials into new materials and objects. It can prevent the waste of potentially useful materials and reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, thereby reducing: energy usage, air pollution (from incineration), and water pollution (from landfilling). (Wikipedia)

At Ecobarter, the aim is to reduce as much waste going into landfills and recycle/repurpose as much as we can. To do this, we are currently involved in curbside recycling collection using hand carts and trucks to divert waste from landfills. we also collect waste and recyclables from large estates, shopping centres and currently have a corporate plan on waste management for offices and organizations. 

With the recyclables we collect from these places, we are able to provide a steady supply of uncontaminated raw material for recycling companies. One-third of world manufactured aluminium is made from scrap aluminium and the paper industry is also starting to use a large per cent of scrap papers as opposed to virgin pulps. Our scheme makes available a constant supply of material to these industries. 

Repurposing

Ecobarter converts single-use plastic bags into fabrics (PLABRICS), this is done through our  Waste to Resource Empowerment Programme launched in December of 2019.  The vision is to train people within local communities to become ecopreneurs, by collecting and transforming everyday wastes into marketable products using local skills. 

The people under this program are trained on how to make single-use plastic bags into regular bag packs, laptop bags, purses, mats etc. They use a traditional floor loom to weave these plastic bags after cutting them in strips. Several plastic bags are combined together to form these everyday products. Participants are encouraged to bring in their plastic bags and also encourage people within their community to donate to us or for a small fee. 

We have successfully trained close to 30 individuals on this and we are hopeful to get more people involved in the coming months.

Here are some samples of the materials made from plastic bags

In conclusion, Waste can be recycled and repurposed. Doing this reduces the tonnes of waste that goes into landfill. 

 

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