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Upcycling to Fight Poverty

The 'Recycle Not a Waste Initiative' Empowers Ghanian Street Youth

— March 24, 2012 — Social Good
Like many urban centres in the majority world, Ghana's streets are filled with litter. Instead of just hiring people to clean the streets, however, a social enterprise called Recycle Not a Waste Initiative (RECNOWA) has come with a solution that also treats a social problem.

RECNOWA hires teams of Ghanian street youth to clean up public spaces, offering them fair employment opportunities while also giving them the chance to have a positive impact on the local environment. What's more, the social business then upcycles some of the waste items -- plastics in particular -- to create handmade accessories and fashion items.

They have also launched the Garbage Bank Initiative, which encourages students to bring recyclable items from home in exchange for points that can be traded for money or educational items like school bags. In addition, students are taught how to upcycle these items into art and functional items.

RECNOWA adheres to the principles of Ethical Consumerism, Social Entrepreneurship and Poverty Alleviation, Fair Trade and being Carbon Zero through carbon offsetting. All of these initiatives are explained in further detail on their website.

Contact Information
RECNOWA website