Ocean cleaning & recycling


Accra, Ghana

September 2015

Shifting perceptions from waste to resource is rePATRN’s mission. There couldn’t be a better way to achieve this than joining forces with SEAQUAL. It enables us to show that the abundantly available PET bottles washed up on our shores can be given a new life.

Solid waste management is a tremendous challenge all over the globe but especially in the developing world. Countries have grown so quickly that they’ve outpaced their own development of infrastructure for trash collection. The strain will only be more pronounced, as Africa is expected to account for more than half of the world’s population growth between 2015 and 2050. By the end of the century, 83% of the world population will be concentrated in Asia and Africa alone.

Finding solutions for the handling of waste therefore becomes a fast-growing and urgent matter. Together with my team, we have created a simple yet powerful framework that can be applied in any developing country where there’s a need for proper disposal of plastic bottles. It is set up in an inclusive manner that is economically profitable, creates employment opportunities and has a positive societal and environmental impact. In order to encourage a change of waste management habits, the resulting product should be fed into a supply chain to which it can demonstrate its true value.

rePATRN leverages the informal sector as it recognizes the abilities of resource collectors to achieve extraordinary collection rates. The plastic bottles they collect are transported to a production facility where they are sorted by color after labels, caps and other impurities have been removed. The bottles are then crushed into flakes and packed in big bags ready for export and re-inclusion into the supply chain. One of our main goals is to have a positive impact on the people that are a part of our business.

Take action. Share this project.