Turn trash into sustainable bags

Reform Africa
Uganda (Kampala)

It is estimated that 600 tons of plastic are disposed off in Uganda daily. Kampala city alone accounts for the vast chunk of plastic waste, which is littered all over the city and clogging the sewage systems. About 51% of the plastic waste in the city is left uncollected and ends up in drainage channels, wetlands, natural water sources, manholes, undeveloped plots and on the roadside. In the rural areas, plastic rubbish in most cases left to decompose on its own. Reform Africa is changing this since September 2018: they are transforming plastic waste into sustainable, waterproof and durable bags, and with every one sold, they donate a bag to a school kid in rural Uganda, supporting students in need with a backpack to keep their school books safe.

Production starts from collecting the plastic bags from dumpsites. More than 50 kg of plastic is collected every month by a team of 10 single mothers who receive a fair rate. After collecting, the women sort and wash the plastic getting rid of any dirt and mud before drying it in the sun. With a unique technique, they are fusing the plastic to its final material. One final Reform bag is made out of 15 plastic bags. With different colours of plastic bags, they are able to design different patterns. When the material is ready, their tailors cut it into different designs according to various specifications. They make backpacks, shopping bags, crossbody bags or smaller toiletry kits.

Submitted by

Kimberley Ballantyne

Written by

Oscar Marin (24 August 2020)


Journalist and blogger, he has worked as an editor for several travel, nature and science magazines for the last 20 years.

Project leader

Aweko Faith, Naluyima Shamim and Mema Rachel, founders

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