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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.

CABO VERDE: Programs

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.

MARCH 2023


These are a few examples of objects that have been produced by our recycling units in Sao Vincente and Sal islands.

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Our plastic recycling unit in Sao Vincente received the visits from the President of Cabo Verde, Mr José Maria Neves, and Minister of the Sea, Mr Abrão Vicente.

They could discover our latest items produced entirely with recycled plastics such as chairs and benches. We have tried to constantly improve our production processes since inception. We have had the chance to interact recently with the French expedition Damona, that has provided a lot of insightful suggestions for our processes. The factory will start soon working full time and we will announce some more news over the coming months...

All Videos

All Videos


Alongside our environmental operations, we have launched an ambitious program in the local schools of Sal and Santo Antao islands. With the support of the Sal and Porto Novo Municipalities, of our long-term partner Oceanario de Lisboa (Portugal) and our partners CODE CV and Biosfera, we have trained local teachers on new classes dedicated on recycling, plastic pollution and its impact on biodiversity. They have started to implement those classes to children in public schools.

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CABO VERDE: Portfolio
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