Coca-Cola Foundation to build plastic waste recycling plant in Bouaké

CÔTE D’IVOIRE – The Coca-Cola Foundation has announced plans to construct a plastic waste recycling plant in the Ivorian town of Bouaké.

As part of the initiative, the Coca-Cola Foundation will provide 124.4 million CFA francs (€189,000) for the construction of the plant.

The facility will be managed by Coliba Africa, a plastics processing company based in Abidjan. It will eventually allow the collection and processing of 600 tonnes of plastic bottles in conjunction with four sorting centers installed in containers.

According to Mayor Nicolas Djibo, the aim is to improve sanitation and reduce pollution to make Ivory Coast’s second city more attractive.

In this West African country, the daily production of waste per inhabitant is estimated at 0.64 kilograms by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the German international development cooperation agency.

Established in 2017, Coliba Africa views the plastic problem as an opportunity to create jobs for people living in disadvantaged communities while improving the environment.

The company has developed a mobile app that connects households and small businesses with informal waste collectors.

In exchange for plastic waste, households receive points that can be converted into payment for basic foods, while the collectors earn a wage.

In August last year, Coliba Africa secured financial backing from Trade Hub to reduce plastic pollution in Abidjan.

The Trade Hub grant with a loan from the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, and other stakeholders was to fund a project to train 6,000 informal waste collectors and set up modern waste collection and recycling facilities with a capacity of 14,000 tonnes per year.

The start-up is working with municipalities to install 65 waste collection centers (kiosks) where collectors can sell their plastic waste.

In addition, Coliba has already installed +100 plastic waste collection boxes at gas stations, supermarkets, schools, and companies in Abidjan where residents can drop off their plastic waste to be recycled.

The company plans to increase its kiosks to reach 500 boxes by 2025. The company expects to collect up to 2,383 tonnes of plastic waste per year on average during the 28-month project. 

The project also included the construction of a new recycling facility to be fully operational by December 2022.

With a processing capacity of 14,000 tonnes of plastic waste per year, the plant’s machinery will convert the plastic waste into high-quality food-grade flakes in accordance with international standards for plastic recycling.

The flakes will be exported to markets in the European Union. The project will create 250 direct full-time jobs; 70 percent of them to be occupied by women.

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