This past week we celebrated World Recycling Day. But with limited places to send our recyclables, it begs the question - is recycling enough? As the world struggles to manage its waste, consumers present alternative ways to recycle.
The world continues to struggle with the burden of waste management. In 2019, the Global Material Footprint, according to the United Nations, was 85.9 billion tonnes – up from 73.2 billion tonnes 10 years before. Meanwhile, the world’s electronics waste – namely discarded smartphones, tablets and other electronic devices – grew by 38% in that same year.
In Nigeria, “wastepreneurs” are providing an answer to this by taking waste straight from the dump, transforming it and redefining its purpose. These innovators work with different materials – water sachets, scrap metal, bottles, plastic, and more – with many of them learning on the job, how to manipulate these objects, to make “beauty out of ashes”. These entrepreneurs ask: “If you can recycle it, why waste it?”