We bring recycling options, health programing, and job opportunities to women in rural Sierra Leone.
Our mission is to catalyze gender equity and improved health outcomes in rural Sierra Leone by employing female makers to transform plastic waste into building materials.
The global plastic waste crisis affects us all, but in rural and resource scarce areas, plastic waste can pose an even worse risk to human health. In most parts of Sierra Leone, there is no existing waste management infrastructure - there aren’t trash trucks that come to people’s homes. Most waste is just littered in ditches or burned in people’s backyards. Trash buildup can attract germs and bugs, including malaria carrying mosquitoes. But burning waste, especially plastic, can release toxic pollutants, and people breathing them in see higher rates of respiratory illness, immune issues, and cancers.
In rural Sierra Leone, women are typically the ones burning this waste as a part of their household chores. Our team wants to provide a safer way for women to dispose of plastic waste without compromising their or their families’ health. Our solution, Wi Yone Plastik, empowers Sierra Leonean women to transform their relationship with plastic by engaging them in programs to recycle plastic litter into valuable building materials.
We train female leaders to collect plastic waste, then clean it and safely store it in preparation for recycling. These women also educate their friends, family, and neighbors about the dangers of littering and waste burning. In March 2023, we’ll launch a recycling center central to our plastic collectors’ communities where we will use local equipment and materials to transform the collected waste into bricks, tiles, and more. These materials can then be sold to local contractors, generating profit to keep paying our female Plastik Managers and recycling facility workers for their hard work.
We envision a future where there is no plastic, where recycling isn’t necessary because women living in communities like Tihun will have access to alternative materials. But until then, we need to provide a safer option for plastic waste disposal. We are Wi Yone Plastik.