The Ministry of Environment, Juba City Council, the French Embassy in South Sudan, Southern Sudan Beverages Limited (SSBL) and Environmental Rehabilitation Program (ERP) officially launched “Juba Recycles”.
A statement from Juba Recycles said that approximately one million plastic bottles are produced per day in Juba, most of which are dumped along roadsides, burned on the streets or taken to the Yei Road landfill by private companies.
The lack of recycling options for plastic has a significant impact on the environment of South Sudan as plastic bottles take up to a thousand years to degenerate.
“Juba Recycles” is a non-profit programme aimed at reducing plastic pollution while providing income-generation opportunities to vulnerable population. It is implemented by the South Sudanese NGO Environmental Rehabilitation Program (ERP), with the support of Southern Sudan Beverages Limited and the French Embassy in South Sudan.
The programme started its operation in April 2013 and has been able to recycle around 80 tons of plastic, which represent 4 million bottles. Thousands of South Sudanese Pounds have been distributed to collection groups directly benefiting women like Angelina Ajuak, one of the programmes’ beneficiaries who fled Pibor seven months ago: “I was not even getting 1 SSP per day before I joined the Cooperative but now in a forth night I can earn at least 50 – 80 SSP that help me cover medical bills and other expenses.”
Through its Fund for local NGOs, the French Embassy granted 375,939 SSP to set up the programme. “ We are very pleased to support this innovative programme implemented by a local NGO, which tackles such a pressing issue as plastic waste while providing livelihood to women in need” says H.E. Mr Christian Bader, French Ambassador to South Sudan.
The sustainability of the recycling programme is ensured through the ongoing support of SSBL, which hosts the plastic processing plant. The company, producer of South Sudan’s White Bull beer and Club Soda has made it possible for Environmental Rehabilitation Program to set-up the project. Ian Alsworth-Elvey, Managing Director of SSBL is an advocate of responsible business in South Sudan: “Since its establishment in 2007, SSBL has been investing in corporate social responsibility activities reaching from clean water supply to the community to supporting local farmers. By providing land, equipment and know-how to the Juba Recycles programme, SSBL hopes to encourage other businesses in South Sudan to step-up and shape South Sudan’s development in a more sustainable way.”
“Juba Recycles exemplifies very well what ERP stands for: environmental protection for and by the people of South Soudan” says Oliver Marubu Michael, Founder and Executive Director of ERP. “With the support of donors, we hope to expand our activities to recycle more bottles, tackle deforestation, raise more people’s awareness and effectively protect the environment of South Sudan .“
The programme collects plastic bottles from private compounds, schools and residential areas; they are cleaned and crushed into small flakes before being exported abroad for recycling.