Recycling is not only helping the environment; it helps in other areas too. There are important projects under way for collecting and recycling plastics which make a major contribution to social well-being and people’s welfare, by improving their quality of life.
In this article, we tell you about some of these initiatives related to beneficial recycling which impressed us the most!
Recycling plastic to finance medical treatments
Yusuf Nugraha is a young Indonesian doctor who decided to allow the poorest patients in the country to pay for their medical treatment using plastic bottles as exchange currency.
The concept is simple but amazing: for every ten plastic bottles handed in, Yusuf’s patients receive a voucher which can be used for a free outpatient visit. In this way, the Doctor, who everybody now calls “Dr. Plastic” not only helps those who cannot afford to pay for the costs (sometimes prohibitive) of the Indonesian health system, but also helps to fight the Country’s serious waste issue.
Plastics for books
Collect plastic, give yourself a book and save the planet! This is the slogan of “Non rifiutiamoci un libro sospeso”, the excellent idea of a Salerno-based bookseller, Mr. Michele Gentile, owner of the Ex Libris Cafè in Polla (Salerno). The initiative aims to combine education and raising awareness about environmental sustainability by promoting reading, activity and good habits which really do help us live better.
How does it work? The bookseller gives a book to anyone who hands over three cans or three plastic bottles. Since the initiative started, over 400 kg of aluminium and about 250 kg of plastic have been collected in exchange for 2,000 books!
The project is also supported by several publishing houses and Italian writers and is spreading to other cities, such as Portici (Naples) where the Libridine bookshop has been turned into an authentic plastic collection point, in exchange for culture.
A solidarity project has been created from recycling plastic
In 2016 students of the “Massimiliano Massimo” high school in Rome have come up with a system which allows plastic caps and containers to be transformed into artificial limbs by using extruders and 3D printers. The prostheses have been sent to two hospitals in Africa, a tangible contribution to reduce the high costs connected to sending humanitarian aids to African countries where the emergency occurs on a daily basis. The project is called Crowd4Africa and is funded through a crowdfunding campaign which has raised so far over 60,000 Euros!
Plastic bottles into bulbs
How to provide lighting in rural areas not served by electricity? A goal that has been made possible by Liter of light, a project run by the Philippine “My Shelter Foundation”, which aims to take eco-sustainable lighting to all the disadvantaged areas in the world suffering lacks of power supply. These special bulbs which work, thanks to Alfred Moser’s “solar bottle-bulb” technology, guarantee from 12 to 16 hours of artificial light every day. The initiative not only promotes the re-use of plastic bottles, but also helps create micro-businesses in places where the bulbs are installed.
Thanks to Liter of Light, over 850 thousand homes have been lighted up in 15 different countries. We are delighted that this initiative to “light the dark corners of the world” has now arrived in Italy as well!
Truly useful circular economy projects which we hope will spread to lots of cities worldwide. Because plastic recycling can really make a difference in our lives!