Namibia: Innovation to Reduce Pollution

20 February 2020

A walk down a littered street in Ongwediva last August led 23-year-old Kambwali Sally to doing something about discarded cool drink bottles that were strewn everywhere.

He was so concerned about the littering that he started collecting the plastic bottles. He did not throw them into the refuse bin but created something out of them - the idea of creating petroleum jelly holders struck him.

"I was so concerned about cool- drink bottles lying around. I created this product (jelly holders) to recycle, reuse and reproduce old products into something new as a way of reducing waste," Sally emphasised.

Sally, a third year mechanical engineering student at Namibian Institute of Mining and Technology (Nimt), said recycling is very important because it keeps the country clean and reduces land pollution.

"It (recycling) is also important because in dry seasons, animals feed on discarded materials, particularly plastics and eventually die from them. These (animal deaths) negatively affect the farmers," Sally advised. The young entrepreneur hopes his holders can be sold throughout the country: "I will love to see my products in shops and being promoted by other small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

"l also want create job opportunities for fellow youths. We should not always wait for the government to give us jobs. We can use our talents to come up with something to keep us on our feet," Sally added.

Sally said he had approached Coca-Cola offices in the north and they did not have issues about him using their product to create the jelly holders.

Enid Johr, public affairs and communications manager at Coca-Cola Namibia told The Namibian that the company welcomes the recycling of any of their containers.

"However, we do not endorse the end product because we are not part of the quality process," Johr said.

Johr added that the end product is for human use and makes it vulnerable.

"We do not associate with this project as Coca-Cola Namibia. We, however, welcome initiatives and creativity," Johr emphasised.

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