Social enterprise converts plastic waste into face shields

The PPE supply will cover the shortages in Ugandan hospitals in the wake of coronavirus pandemic

Net Hero Podcast

Nine tonnes of plastic waste every month could be avoided from being burned in Gulu, Uganda, with an innovative plastic waste- to- face shields project.

The social enterprise Takataka Plastics, which has developed technology to melt plastic waste to create construction materials, aims to scale up its recycling operation by producing personal protective equipment for the Ugandan health care system.

Environmental activist Peter Okwowo and engineer Paige Balcom, who lead the company, say: “Hospitals and health clinics in Uganda are woefully under-equipped to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. Doctors and nurses are asking for face shields, but they are not available in most hospitals.

“After identifying this gap, we embarked on research and design of face shields. Our face shield prototype has already been appreciated by both the health workers and other stakeholders.

“We presented some of the face shields to the District Health Office and a local clinic for trials and have received extremely positive feedback.”

The country generates 600 metric tonnes of plastic waste every day with 50% of it not being collected nationally, according to recent reports.