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.
KaraPlast - Paving Sustainable Communities
Explain your idea in details:
Main objective of KaraPlast is to pave sustainable communities of the future by finding a use for the plastic waste in the community and becoming the first recycling company in N. Macedonia to turn waste into completely new products, which will be more durable and affordable than the ones already on the market. At the same time, the enterprise will donate 3-5% of the revenue to work together with the civil society organizations and the local/national authorities towards tackling 2 key issues in the country: - low ecological conscience of the community by organizing workshops/projects for raising awareness about waste managements and the damaging of the nature for children and youngsters; - large number of wild landfills by organizing multiple eco-actions every year to reuse the plastic waste and dispose the rest of the garbage properly. In the 1st phase, the company will work towards creating the most optimal construction products that will be sold to construction companies and workers that will use them to build eco-friendly public spaces, infrastructure and living buildings. In the 2nd phase, when the company already has all the resources and machines, it will start to construct KaraPlast Houses, which will promote: - recycling - by installing containers for plastic waste for free, which will be used in the production process, - green energy - by giving an option to install or build-in solar panels that will be more affordable, and - concept of passive houses - by maximizing the isolation and lowering heat loss. Additionally, these houses will directly benefit the young people, who will enjoy special promotions and discounts in order to motivate them to use these materials and help the community by adding additional social value to their home.
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
The root of the idea is based on creating more durable and affordable materials that will be made using plastic waste instead of limited natural resources. Furthermore, there will be more active campaigns focused on the children and young people in order to start recycling materials as much as possible. Aside from raising awareness about the importance of recycling, there will be workshops on the various methods how they can reduce, reuse or upcycle their waste. This will influence the increasement of the recycling rate in the community, but also to raise questions about its sustainability in general. Furthermore, by using the model of circular economy, KaraPlast will strive to make all of its products recyclable, meaning that after our products have fulfilled their purpose, they can be returned by the customer into our company, so they can be reused in the creation of new products. Thus, there will be no real waste left in the community and there will not be any new natural resources extracted. Additionally, with the construction of the KaraPlast Houses, the enterprise will also influence the reduction of the CO2 emission by equipping the houses with green energy sources and lowering the heat consumption rate.
Plans for implementation and sustainability
Currently, the products are at the development and prototyping stage, meaning that the idea has passed through the creation and development phase completely in the last 3 months. Financing for the start of the 1st phase of the idea will be done by finding investors or by taking a loan for social/green businesses with a lower rate than the normal ones. Afterwards, it will be self-sustaining since it will function as a social enterprise that will both work on improving the community and making profits to sustain itself. The company will offer to build various ready-made models of houses that will be efficient and cost effective, but it will also sell every material separately to construction companies and workers. Revenue collected from this process will go back in the company, but a substantial part of it will be invested in civil society organizations for the realization of the planned eco-actions tackling the wild landfills and eco-classes for the children and youngsters in N. Macedonia. Furthermore, once the startup has developed and started with production, I will also apply for different projects, grants, competitions, as well as local/national tenders, which will additionally contribute to the sustainability of the enterprise. Firstly, I intend to spread the products in the other neighboring Balkan countries, which are in the same position regarding waste management since there aren't any widespread companies doing the same. I would be more than happy to work and support anyone that wants to replicate the module across any place in Europe or the world since the main motives are the social benefits rather than the business ones. At the very least, I plan to export these products in all European countries where there will be a demand for them or on the other hand open a representative office.
I am a 22 year old young person that is enrolled as a 4th year student at the Faculty of Economics at the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje with an immense 7 year experience in the civil society as a volunteer and member in many national and international organizations, such as PTPI, AIESEC and AEGEE. Additionally, I have been part of SPUKM, the biggest and most influential student representative body in N. Macedonia, representing the students enrolled on the top-ranked university in the country. Lastly, I was representing the Macedonian students on the most recent 76th European Students Union Board Meeting that took place in Sofia. Afterwards, I became a scholar of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, a German political foundation that functions as a think-tank organization that promotes consolidation of democracy, justice, freedom and liberty, where I also became the Coordinator of the newly formed body called Konrad Adenauer Alumni & Scholars Macedonia. I am also a founder and president of Youth Empowerment Association YEA, which is a non-governmental/non-profit organization working on developing the entrepreneurial and innovative mindset of the youngsters, active citizenship/participation in the community, as well as protection and promotion of cultural heritage. During all these years, I had the opportunity to organize handful of projects and events in N. Macedonia, as well as take part in more than 25 international programs. Recently, KaraPlast was selected as the first Macedonian project among more than 540 applicants in the semi-finals of the European Social Innovation Competition (also known as the Diogo Challenge) supported by the European Commission.