Best Ideas 2019 features all the nominated entries submitted under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solutions or propositions for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage.
Explain your idea in details:
In Uganda it is estimated that 600 tons of plastic are disposed off daily and 51 percent of plastic waste garbage which includes disposable cups, plates, soda and water bottles and plastic bags in Kampala city is left uncollected and ends up in drainage channels, wetlands and road sides according to national environment management authority. In rural areas, it is a sad story because plastic garbage is left to decompose on its own leading to low farm out puts and air pollution when burnt and endangers human life, animals and the environment when not well collected and disposed off in a proper manner. In Uganda areca or palm trees are planted for home design which means that over 100% of the areca leaves are thrown and they are seen as of no use yet the can alternate plastic and lower down the deforestation rates since we plant the trees and harvest the leaves. UG-unpckt makes unique and eco-friendly biodegradable, disposable and non-toxic products like drinking straws from locally grown plants and bamboo, plates, cups and spoons from fallen areca leaves which are healthy, hygienic and sustainable to alternate to plastic, polymer and paper based products. The fallen areca leaves are collected from farms and hotels and beaches in Uganda. The Sheath of the areca leaf is cleaned and soaked in water and shade dried then compressed to different shapes using the corresponding shaped machines and then packed as per the customer need or requirement.
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
In five years after we start with implementation of the idea we expect to impact over one hundred farmers living in rural areas especially women to grow bamboo and areca trees while improving on their income earnings since we shall be providing the farmers with seedlings to grow these plants through their cooperatives and buy these crops through a fair trade. Reduce 40 percent on the consumption of single use or non biodegradable plastic in Uganda through making and raising awareness regarding the dangers of plastic consumption in communities, market places and schools which will work as a marketing strategy for us to let people know what we do. We expect to employ over one hundred fifty to two hundred employees including women, men widows and youths in all the processes of making the products and decreasing plastic waste in our communities.
Plans for implementation and sustainability
we plan to implement our project idea in Mpigi District because of the quick access to our customers and to the raw materials to lower down costs regarding transportation of the raw materials and and the finished products to our. We shall work with already existing farmer groups to help us grow our raw materials [areca plants and bamboo] since we do not have land to grow them from and they have big pieces of land that can support us in our production. We shall be purchasing these raw materials from these farmers since they will be the care takers of the plants and they will be putting much effort to grow them. We will need different types of machines to helps us in producing quality and hygienic products for our customers for good work. We shall be selling our products to our local market and international market especially in Europe since they have the same vision and the have stopped plastic production and production to helps us for the financial sustainability of our project. We plan to work with online shops to sell our products to reach a big audience even for those who can not reach us locally.
I am Ssemambo Akram, 21 years, co-founder of UG-unpackt. I grew up in a slum community in Kampala, when it rained, all of my classes where cancelled, and i would have to miss school, this always saddened me deeply, even worse during particular unforgiving seasons of rain, entire homes in our neighborhood would flood and i remember days when it could rain so heavily that my family and i would have to spend the entire night draining water out of our home. Having to go to school and walk through the floods, my bag, uniform and books would all get wet and destroyed. These conditions where one of the consequences of having poor garbage and plastic waste disposal system in the area. All plastics clogged drainage channels which of course exacerbated the recurring flooding. I grew up reflecting on the hardships of my past, i decided to use my experience and knowledge to make a positive change in my community. Through my journey of making a difference, i have received scholarships from Social Innovation Academy where i have acquired leadership and Entrepreneurship skills, I was selected to participate in the German Uganda exchange on sustainable production and consumption and i was also honored to participate in the World Youth Forum 2018. I believe the knowledge and motivation i have will make a difference in my country to adopt manners of responsible waste management and live in a plastic world.