Fighting plastic pollution on all fronts
Our presence in Cabo Verde can be summarized in two main points:
- Collecting and recycling of plastics
- Education of youngsters and preservation of the island biodiversity
Despite its geographical isolation, Cabo Verde is suffering from a constant pollution made of plastic debris carried by the oceanic current. They accumulate mostly on the eastern shores of the archipelago. Those debris are a permanent threat to the marine fauna and the biodiversity of the islands.
Marine debris are not only a permanent threat to turtles, lighter ones are being spread over the inner ground by the trade winds, contaminate the environment and affect the bio-diversity. Since 2015, Calao has been collecting more than 16 tons of debris on Sal islands western beaches with the support of volunteers and the Municipality (transport). As no dialog has been yet possible with the fishing industry, our mission needs to be maintained until sustainable fishing practices are being imposed internationally.
Since 2020 we have decided to expand our efforts to plastic recycling. Our cleaning actions had led us to look for a sustainable methodology to recycle marine debris (which so far are being discarded into a landfill). The main obstacle to the recycling of debris remains their general chemical degradation due to a long exposure to the sun, water and salt.
We have thus decided to concentrate our efforts on the plastics generated by the tourism industry (mainly from hotels and restaurants, using PET and HDPE), which are easier to recycle, and in much better conditions.
After sponsoring the building of the first recycling unit in Sal island, Calao and its partner Biosfera have launched in March 2023 a new recyling unit in Sao Vincente island. We produce a wide range of products (tiles, rulers, plates, bricks, spinning tops), which can be used by children, builders or in the public space. For more information, you can check the video below.
Our first plastic recyling unit in Sao Vincente island
Calao Africa ASBL and our local partner Biosfera have just launched a new recycling factory in Mindelo. Using caps of plastic bottles collected among restaurants, beauty saloons and water companies, the factory produces a wide range of new objects for children, builders and public spaces.