MSC is partnering an innovative multi-pronged UNICEF programme in Ivory Coast that combines environmental conservation, poverty reduction, women empowerment and children’s education. Currently, only 5% of plastic waste in Ivory Coast is recycled and the waste collectors — mainly women — are trapped in a cycle of poverty. They often have to take their children to the waste tips where they work, since 87% of children aged 3 to 5 can't go to school because there aren't enough classrooms, denying them the opportunity to build essential skills for life. The "Plastic waste to schools" programme pays the waste collectors a fair price regularly, lifting them out of poverty while recycling the plastic waste to make innovative building bricks for the low-cost construction of much-needed classrooms.
ORGANIZATION: UNICEF – United Nations Children's Fund.
COUNTRY: Ivory Coast.
PROGRAM NAME: Plastic waste to schools.
PROGRAM: To foster a women-empowering recycling market that recycles plastic waste into safe and durable low-cost building materials, starting with new classrooms.
STRATEGY: Build classrooms while empowering women and cleaning up the environment.
IMPACT: Environmental conservation, education, community support.
GOAL: Raise USD 3.75 million to clean up the environment and take 66 women out of poverty per year, recycling 880,000 kg of plastic waste into innovative building bricks to build 152 low-cost, modern, community-built classrooms, enabling 8,360 more children to go to school.