Saffron Aid’s Indo-Pacific Plastic Recycling is a social and environmental enterprise where profits are put back to the community and into environmental and wildlife protection.
In response to one of the most damaging global impacts facing the planet, plastic pollution, we are introducing new global technology that can turn soft and hard plastic into commercial products in a single process. This technology is unique and replicable, with at least 42 factories and 17 mobile melters to be rolled out across the Indo Pacific over the next 10 years to help turn plastic waste into a valuable commodity as well as employing and training locals in the operation. Research and Development will be undertaken to design a smaller, mobile unit that fits within a shipping container that can be trucked into remote areas of high plastic environmental waste that can be diverted to recycling. This will not only help clean the environment of waste, it is creating much needed employment.
Profits will also be used to provide education, health, environmental and wildlife protection projects within the local communities we are working with as well as investing in new factories in other regions. We also will set up a micro finance facility for small loans for startup businesses run by individuals, groups or communities to help build economic resilience and reduce poverty. Each plant will have a preschool attached for worker’s children, a medical clinic, canteen/café/Tea House to be used for staff meals, as well as catering for the public, and a training centre staffed by qualified trainers from the community.
The concept is based on those United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:
Project Length: Our plastic recycling revolution project is to be rolled out over 10 years, each plant or facility only takes 8 months to be established (dependent upon relevant government approvals) – so employment is immediate and the impact this has in the communities is tangible. In the next ten years, we will roll out at least 42 plants, however, our goal is to more than double this in the following 10 years as this model is easily replicated globally in both developing and developed countries. All plants will be in low socioeconomic areas to help lift employment, education, training and living standards in these communities.
Education and Training: Australian Registered Training organisations will provide education of local community members to become trainers. Each factory will in turn have 10 qualified trainers. Courses will be offered for trades such as automotive mechanics, carpentry, brick laying, facility management, as well as office skills including computer, secretarial, bookkeeping and sales and marketing for retail and business management. The attached canteen/café/Tea House will also train staff in hospitality, food hygiene and cooking to give trainees the skills and confidence to work in major hotels as well as supplying food for staff. Our concept for both education and training is to help develop sustainable livelihoods for community members.
Each melter will grant micro scholarships to allow children attend school, scholarships to young adults to attend university or obtain Training Certificates as well as School Scholarships to children involved in the supply chain. As shown in Table 1, in the first ten years of the project, we aim to help 105,700 children attend school, help 6,600 escape child labour via education scholarships, 964 youth to attend University and train 112,831 people in trades with recognised certificates in carpentry, mechanics, business, bookkeeping, and so on from Australian TAFE and university partners such as the University of NSW, RMIT and UTS. Our goal is to ensure all people that are trained will get jobs.
Direct and Indirect Employment: There are two types of melters to be used in this project. For developing countries, a manual melter will be used, whilst automatic melters will be employed in developed countries. The breakdown of employment is provided in Table 2. It is envisaged that for the first 10 years, at least 293,357 people will be employed as a result of our initiatives. Each new plant replicated in targeted developing countries will employ 346 people from low socioeconomic communities.
Environmental and Wildlife Protection Initiatives: As well as providing support to local communities, we will also provide significant support for local communities to realise positive wildlife conservation initiatives significantly with all-of-environment focused outcomes. This is particularly true for the need to protect and expand mangrove forests and rainforests. Mangrove forests and rainforests are at particular risk of human encroachment and exploitation, wildfire and wildlife trafficking, and climate change. We will work with local communities across the Asia Pacific to enhance projects that seek to protect and expand mangrove forests and rainforests while providing employment for low.