Biodegradable ....


Newsletter February 2016
Tuma Viela



Bags, bags and more bags… We are offered thousands a day! That’s a good thing, because otherwise they would have lingered on the streets! Now, the streets are cleaner and we are busier than ever. Moreover, we are surrounded by smiling and happy children who leave our workplace with a new schoolbag or other valuable products.

Recently, we have been offers more and more bags, which have a different texture. They are smoother, see through and biodegrable (as is stated on the packaging), which is really good news! All these special bags are ferreted out by us and used especially for our products. At the moment, we still need to add other, non-biodegrable bags for our products. However, in the future we hope to be able to make all our products from materials less damaging to the environment!

When energy-drinks gained popularity, this was primarily due to the made up fact that energy-drink was a cure for malaria… Now, with the new biodegradable packaging, sales are being stimulated by claiming that this water is a cure for Ebola. If only it was this simple...

The remaining bags are collected and are bought up for a few pennies  and shipped to China, where they are recycled. The storage of the bags really became a problem. We used large bags, which were ripped open by the vast amount of bags they had to carry. The whole porch was always littered with bags and our doors blocked by them. On top of that, the selection of clean, dirty and biodegradable bags is done by our Special Workers. These are young people with a mental disability, who were not able to oversee all these bags and as a consequence the bags were mixed up…

When visiting the Netherlands, an ever excited and dear Dutch couple gave me a full envelope to spend on the workplace.  We ordered three large iron crates to be made and painted them in the colours of Ghana, Red, Yellow and Green. This really works! Clean bags are placed in the Red crate, biodegradables in the Yellow one and the dirty ones in the Green crate. This is understood by the workers and still looks presentable! Together, Haruna and Ikelima take care of sorting and transporting the bags, which are brought in by the children. They are really proud of their work!

 
Haruna and Ikelima … excellent sorters!   Biodegrable bags …
     
 
Before …   Yellow for biodegradable
     
 
Green for dirty bags, Red for clean ones…   And after… !
     
   
  An important sign ....