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Zoomkids Found Innovative Re-Use for PET Bottles.

Display of dustbins made from old PET bottles

Members of the Zoomkids Club of St. Francis Catholic Basic School had innovative ideas for what to do with their plastic waste. They created a solution, turning old bottles to dustbins for use in their school. The bin is spacious enough to receive waste from the classrooms, before they are emptied into a bigger bin placed outside. Because the bin is made of plastics, it is very good to receive waste from water packaging like water sachets and other wastes which contain liquids. Most importantly, the bottles can be recycled later into other forms. It is also cheaper to make and it saves the environment as well.

The school is located in Ashalley Botwe in Accra, and is attached to the Catholic Church in the community. Because PET Bottles are difficult to recycle, the church and the school dispose of their plastic waste but the group of Zoomkid club members designed and constructed waste bins with old plastic bottles.

The Zoomkids Club Patron of the school, Madam Bridget Gadikor, supervised the initiative together with technical assistance from staff of Zoomlion Foundation. Madam Gadikor said that such activities were done to get kids interested in Environmental Science and to develop ideas for waste recycling. As a teacher, she believed that the kids could make a difference in the world and they were taking initiatives to minimize plastic waste pollution in Ghana.

On the day of the activity, the students sorted old plastic bottles and put them into same colour groups. Based on the colour of bottles, the students also formed nine groups. They stacked six to nine bottles on the sides to form a rectangular dustbin of size 150cm tall and 200cm wide. The bottles were firmly held to each other with cellotape and contact glue.

One of the groups also made a triangular-shaped dustbin with the bottles. It was all fun and exciting when the kids competed to finish first. It aroused healthy competition and team work in the kids. It also encouraged the schoolchildren to learn thinking skills to solve environmental sanitation problems in their schools.

“Making dustbin with old bottles was fun”, one clubber remarked. “I see bottles lying around when they walk along streets to school. A lot of the bottles are found in waterways and affecting the environment negatively. I was happy when our club developed this big idea to make use of our old bottles”, she added.

Many of the Zoomkids club members have been thought to separate different types of waste. They also know how to separate different colours of plastics. Upcoming projects will focus on improving accuracy of sorting waste to more than 70%. The Zoomlion Foundation will continue to give environmental education to the schools and focus on initiatives that reduce waste.

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