“Waste is something of value and there’s a benefit to keeping it”- the Butterfly Project in the African countries is giving us a visual representation to firm our beliefs on the ironic statement.
As the name suggests, the motto of this project is to reform the mindsets of people, communities, and plastic wastes like a caterpillar transform into a butterfly. Chege Ngugi, child fund Kenya’s country director stated; “the best way to change behavior is through education on the value of waste and the risks of mismanaging it.”
In cities like Nairobi in Kenya, where there is rampant plastic pollution and poverty, the project funds educational campaigns about how plastics can be cleaned and recycled. These teachings help them to understand the possible diseases from these wastes and make them enthusiastic citizens about a cleaner future.
Worried about sustainability, the butterfly project unites residents, NGOs, government agencies, educators, community leaders, and manufacturers in unique partnerships to combat the crisis. They discuss how plastics can be cleaned up from the country and sent to recycling factories to process them into raw materials to make new products.
Words from the Keiran Smith, the co-founder, and CEO of Mr. Green Africa, narrates; “waste pickers are invisible heroes. Instead of being marginalized, they are now seen as human beings doing honorable jobs.”
The butterfly project also creates job opportunities under training. The waste pickers collect plastics and take their daily supplies to plastic buying shops where they are paid weight wise. That way, people can also have access to a steady income and of course a cleaner environment.
By: Nehla Zohaira, SAVED News International Correspondent, South Asia
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