GDC Team working with Eco Collect Project in Douala
Unfortunately, the majority of this plastic is not disposed of responsibly. Plastic contains toxic chemicals that are hazardous to the environment and this can lead to land, water and air pollution. Consequently, studies show that it can take hundreds or even thousands of years for plastic to decompose, resulting in long-lasting damage to the environment. It is for this reason that in August 2013, ECO-COLLECT was launched by a young Cameroonian entrepreneur named Rodrigue Ngonde, under the patronage of MINEPDED.
ECO-COLLECT is the first national collection program to valorize and recycle plastic waste in Cameroon. The mission of ECO-COLLECT is to preserve the environment by recycling plastic. This mission is accomplished via the following goals:
- Educate urban communities on the importance of sorting and recycling plastic waste
- Ensure collection of plastic waste by installing 200 collection points in strategic cities
- Collect and recycle 10,0000 tonnes of plastic waste every year
- Create 100 direct jobs and 10,000 indirect jobs (including 1,000s youth per region), through the “Holiday without Plastic Waste” initiative
In August 2017, GDC was honored to be the main sponsor of the 5th edition of ECO-COLLECT. The project was launched from August 1st to 31st and over 1,000 students 18 years of age and older, were mobilized to collect plastic waste. GDC assisted ECO-COLLECT by providing reflective jackets and durable gloves, which were used to carry out the clean-up campaign in Douala. On 24 August 2017, our CSR department spent the entire day with the ECO-COLLECT team and joined them in the initiative against plastic pollution. Equipped with proper P.P.E and collecting bags, we went door-to-door picking up plastic waste from neighborhoods, streets and commercial areas in Akwa. At the end of the day, all the plastic collected was sorted, weighed, and eventually transported to ECO-COLLECT centers, to either be recycled by local partners or exported overseas (in cases requiring more sophisticated recycling machinery). A portion of the plastic collected will also be transformed into commercial goods such as shoes, tables, candle holders etc. In the future, Rodrigue Ngonde plans to expand the ECO-COLLECT project by building a plastic waste recycling plant in Yassa, Douala.