Environment 360, a sustainability organisation, has trained over 50 students and 30 plastic waste pickers within the Tema Newtown enclave on proper waste disposal, climate change, and the circular economy through the Pick-it circular exhibition and Green Fair.
Students from Evergreen International School, Assemblies of God International School, and the waste pickers were also trained on how to make various products, including beads and buttons, from plastic waste.
The Pick-It 2.0 Green Fair is a circular exhibition and career fair aimed at promoting a just transition into a circular economy.
Selasi Charway-Glover, the programe manager at Environment 360, speaking to the press on the sidelines of the event, said community exhibitions are an interactive way for community members to learn about the circular economy and their role in it.
“Our goal is to provide tangible skills and support that allow waste pickers to climb the value chain so that they can become more than just collectors.”
According to her, exhibitions provide community members with an opportunity to learn about climate change, development of sustainable habits, and transformation of plastic
During the exhibition, community members were taught about the dangers plastic can cause to their environment and how to adopt sustainable habits to reduce the amount of plastic in the environment. They were also taken through a live demonstration of the recycling process using their modular recycling technology.
“We offer a variety of value-added services, such as livelihood training that increases the resilience of our waste pickers, as well as support for them to register for the National Health Insurance Scheme. We also support them with childcare support and educational support for themselves or their wards,” Charway-Glover added.
The participants were educated on the need to reduce, reuse, and recycle waste.
“Through this training, I have been enlightened on how to turn plastic waste into money, and I will try it out when I complete school,” one of the beneficiary students said.
“I have learned that it is important to separate plastics from other waste and reuse them for other things,” another student stated.
Founded in 2017, Pick-It has become an integrated circular training facility that supports informal sector plastic collectors to improve their livelihoods through access to technology, technical training, and storage space.
The centre processes waste collected in Accra, Tema, and Dodowa, and a total of 25–30 tons of waste materials are received and processed per month.
The centre is being funded by several entities, including GIZ and private investment firm Green Collar.
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