Plastic Odyssey, a French ship crew, is on a world tour to combat plastic waste pollution. Currently docked at Dakar’s industrial port, the boat has chosen Senegal as its latest destination, where it will carry out several eco-responsible activities until March 2023.
One of the main activities of Plastic Odyssey is to collect non-biodegradable waste, especially around the Dakar harbour, to limit the destruction on Senegal’s marine ecosystem. The team will also raise awareness among residents about protecting marine biodiversity, including over 700 schoolchildren who will learn about recycling plastic packaging into valuable objects.
Plastic Odyssey conducted a 5 day training program for eleven selected starts up that have created creative plastic waste collection and recycling activities. The Workshop focused on best practices in plastic recycling and project management to help accelerate technical and economic development.
The training focused on four modules: principles of plastic recycling, entrepreneurship, low-tech recycling machines, and networking and partnership with local actors in the sector. The program allows young entrepreneurs glean pertinent knowledge, share their experiences, network, and collaborate with other recycling industry players. The training emphasized the importance of plastic recycling in not only in reducing pollution but as a solution to the detrimental health effects caused by this waste. It also highlighted the need for stakeholder collaboration to achieve a cleaner environment.
Another essential aspect of Plastic Odyssey’s work is to train the maritime sector to build low-tech recycling machines on board, which will contribute to the development of the circular economy and create local jobs. The initiative is supported by Senegal’s Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development.
Africa Carbon and Commodities participated and supported this initiative introducing plastic credits and its work in Senegal fighting against plastic waste. The ACC team, with its local partner, interviewed the start-ups to gain insight into their plastic recycling and collection activities. ACC’s Executive Director Mamadou Sarr commented “Given the increasing plastic waste pollution and its negative environmental impact, the world needs more initiatives like this to create awareness, educate, and support young entrepreneurs to combat plastic waste pollution as it is their responsibility to be part of the solution”.
Understanding the importance of responsible waste management and how it impacts the environment is important. Our collaboration with Plastic Odyssey in Senegal reminds us all again that plastic waste is a global problem requiring a concerted effort from individuals, organizations, and governments. Recycling and collecting plastic waste is only part of the solution, and awareness-raising programs are also necessary to effect long-term change.