Diani Plastics

Finding effective solutions for solid waste management is a big challenge for countries all over the world, and an even bigger one for developing countries where there are often huge operational challenges in addition to less resources available and fast-growing populations.

Fortunately, community-lead organisations are stepping up to the plate to find solutions. One such initiative is Kwale Plastics Plus Collectors (KPPC), a social enterprise which has already achieved a lot in its first year in operation. They are tackling some of the coast's biggest challenges by providing much needed segregated waste collection services both directly and indirectly to businesses, residents and tourist establishments within Kwale County. This waste is then moved to their recycling facilities for processing – a sustainable way to help preserve this beautiful area for generations to come.

In Kenya, as in many countries, most waste is at best sent to huge and unsustainable landfill sites and at worst disposed of informally, which essentially means left on the roadside or in other public spaces or burnt. Landfill rubbish releases harmful toxins into the surrounding soil and water tables, whilst uncollected waste has huge negative impacts on Kenya's amazing wildlife and marine ecosystems – with way too much plastic ending up in waterways and the sea.

Globally, the UN estimates that less than 10% of all the plastic ever made has been recycled – which not only contributes massively to waste management challenges but also represents a huge waste of valuable resources. KPPC is simultaneously meeting both these challenges by providing recycling facilities and making sure all waste collected is given a second lease of life. KPPC is working towards the development of a 'closed-loop' economy where materials are segregated at collection point, and then recycled and reused as much as possible.

To date KPPC have 28 Green Stations, 1 Depot and 14 staff members and continue to grow. Their Green Stations are located at convenient locations to enable maximum usage. All collection points have 4 separated bins, for plastics, metals, paper and glass respectively. All users need to do when using the Greens Stations is to ensure their waste is rinsed and free of organic materials before being dropped off, and crushed if possible to maximise space.

To get the project off the ground, KPPC has built strong partnerships with other like-minded organisations. In late 2017, KPPC started life as a social enterprise registered under the community-based organization, Friends of Kwale Water Rescue, and by early 2018 they joined forces with the founders of the