Supervised by: Esther Blom

Peru: Developing a production process/product to be locally manufactured by weavers using plastic waste, Lima, Peru

lifeoutofplastic.com

Selling products made from plastic waste creates incentives to clean it up. In Peru, cleaning up plastic is primarily done by informal recycler communities. The goal of this initiative is to make recycling a profitable business in Peru where everyone in the value-chain has to get a fair cut.

Peru is currently undergoing fast-paced growth, which often does not come hand in hand with care for its rich biodiversity. Plastics remain in the environment forever. 280M tonnes of plastics are produced annually – a 65% increase in two decades (PlasticsEurope2012). 1793M single-use plastic bags are used annually in Lima alone (MINAM2012). The consequence: plastic oceans; 90% of marine debris are plastics (UNEP2011). Considering the risk plastics pose to the marine environment and the potential human health risks, UNEP declared plastic pollution as one of the emerging issues in our global environment in 2011. 

THE VISON Selling products made from plastic waste creates incentives to clean it up. In Peru, cleaning up plastic is primarily done by informal recycler communities. The goal of this initiative is to make recycling a profitable business in Peru where everyone in the value-chain has to get a fair cut. The marginalized communities should be empowered with the tools to create more value from the plastic waste because with the absence of a formal recycling system they currently are the last barrier to Peru’s growing waste problem. That is why the project focuses on getting the more value-adding steps of the production process closer to these communities. 

THE PROJECT The project horizon is currently on launching and running a crowdfunding campaign around Christmas time 2015 in which the products that have been developed in the process up until then can be sold. This campaign should support the goal of creating continuity in the sale of these products (business continuity). 

The group would have to work on a combination of the subjects raised below: 

 A: build on the concepts developed in earlier phases of the project and explore possible entries to market for those concepts (local market and/or western market?) 

 B: in consultation with the project parties, choose a focus on a limited amount of products that can be detailed based on technical and market feasibility 

 C: optimize and make improvements or additions to the main techniques and production processes used in the project in order to create products that are not only producible but also beautiful 

 D: define specific production requirements (materials, labor, technical resources, assembly line, delivery time) test those methods and evaluate these with the weavers 

 E: Help set up and run the crowdfunding campaign and support the production that follows. 

 

About the Project parties : 

New State of Matter/Better Future Factory: The project is managed by New State of Matter and Better Future Factory, two Dutch companies that focus in their collaboration on projects that use (plastic) waste as feedstock for products and business. They provide technical support for the prototyping of the products and production processes in Rotterdam. 

L.O.O.P.: Life out Of Plastic – L.O.O.P. is a Peruvian social enterprise founded in March 2011 whose mission is to raise awareness about plastic pollution on coastal environments using market tools to fund educational campaigns. L.O.O.P. is the Peruvian party involved. 

Ruwasanchis: Runs the program Tejedoras Urbanas that focuses on women, most of whom are migrants of the Peruvian sierra and are artists, weavers, and have a huge appetite to get ahead. They are supported in earning an income from the sale of their products, and are encouraged to have their own enterprise. Within the scope of this project, these women will work on consumer products made from recycled plastic.