With support from the United Nations Development Programme, Monrovia-based waste management agency Hysaa Liberia Inc, and the Ever Green Recycling Institute (EGRI), have begun sorting out plastic bottles for processing and recyclable flakes.
Hysaa’s collection of over 23 metric tons of plastic waste from August to December last year has averted the release of 56 metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, according to data from Liberia’s Environmental Protection Agency.
Fomuso Ridley Fongwen, general manager of Hysaa Liberia, said: “The main lesson we learned is that plastic has ceased to be waste and is now a resource to which value can be added to improve the lives of young Liberians. This implies that the collection, sorting and sale of PET materials, which is used for production of new plastic materials, is a profitable venture.”
He said the country’s plastic waste has the potential to create hundreds of direct and indirect jobs in managing plastic waste from collection, sorting, cleaning, selection, shredding for recycling and processing into other commercial products, to the sale and marketing of the new products made from recycled waste plastic.
Many youths in Liberia are voluntarily collecting and selling plastic bottles to his company, he said.
The recycling institute, a youth initiative, on the other hand, produces and sells petrol and diesel to a ready market of motorbikes and the three-wheel vehicles locally called “keke”.
The recycling agency collects and recycles single-use plastics using pyrolysis, a technique that uses heat to breakdown waste plastic into fuels for vehicles, cooking gas and other materials to make roofing and paving tiles.
Prior to these innovations, plastic waste along the beaches in the city of Monrovia, Liberia’s capital, was very alarming and posed a huge threat to the survivability of marine organisms.