Plastic waste value chain

Published: 28 April 2021
Last edited: 28 April 2021

Key players in the plastic value chain are waste pickers, wholesalers, assorters, recyclers and traders. Arena purchases plastic wastes from waste collectors and those collected during beach cleanups. Thereafter, waste is sorted according to polymers because there are different types of plastic that are different in nature. Some are high density and some are low density. After sorting, plastics are crushed into small pieces, mixed with sand, then heated in an extruder to produce a concrete-like mixture which is then compressed into bricks or pavements.

Classifications

Category
Technical interventions and infrastructure
Scale of implementation
Local
Phase of solution
Implementation

Enabling factors

A well-organized system of collection, sorting, and washing plastic waste enables Arena to work efficiently. Arena has established collection centers around areas where suitable plastic waste materials are available in abundance. For example places in clubs or hotels where it is easy to get clean plastic bottles.

Lessons learned

Not all the plastic brought to our collection center are useful. Some bring wastes mixed with other materials and other organic waste so as to make the weight increases. Because we buy per kilogram they can bring the same amount but not the plastic materials that we want. We want clean bottles and plastic cartons. The challenge is the loss in weight after sorting compared to the recorded weight of collected plastic wastes.