An Innovation Hub Launched for transformative plastic waste management and Job Creation through youth skilling in Uganda.

An innovation hub for plastic waste management has been launched at the International University of East Africa(IUEA) under the framework of the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area (GKMA) PET Plastic Recycling Partnership.
Launch of IUEA Plastic Waste Recycling Innovation Lab

The multi-stakeholder partnership under the NatuReS programme strives to improve the sustainable management of PET plastic waste in GKMA by developing an inclusive green recycling sector.

The Innovation Hub is a collaboration among NatuReS, IUEA, and EcoBrixs which is a Ugandan social enterprise. The hub aims to develop a generation of empowered and skilled young Ugandans capable of tackling Uganda’s plastic waste management challenge innovatively.

The hub establishes a space for plastic waste reduction through PET plastics recycling innovation. IUEA students will be the trainees and primary beneficiaries. The Innovation Hub will offer the university students an opportunity to explore and learn from first-principles practical approaches to PET plastic waste management from plastic waste management experts. For example, EcoBrixs will provide the hub with the necessary technology, know-how, skills, and trainers.

The Hub will offer a closed-looped Recycling Program.It will go a step further and contribute to Uganda’s youth employment challenges. The trainees at the hub will gain employable and entrepreneurial skills. This will assist them in gaining and creating employment in Uganda’s recycling sector, which is a goldmine of untapped opportunities. EcoBrixs will connect trainees to job opportunities in the recycling sector, as well as market the hub’s products and share technical knowledge in the field of plastic recycling.

This hub will encourage youth to pursue green jobs and better manage plastic waste. Through a  green Jobs education approach that focuses on supporting circular economy initiatives to build a workforce, for a sustainable and inclusive future. This is aligned with the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 12 (responsible consumption and production) which includes targets focused on environmentally sound waste management of all waste through prevention, reduction, recycling, and reuse, as well as SDG 8 (sustained, inclusive economic growth and decent work for all). 

The Hub further fits into Uganda’s green Jobs Programme that aims at creating green and decent jobs to enhance labour productivity and reduce poverty through the promotion of skilling and the enhancement of productivity and competitiveness of workers and enterprises.

Because of the Hub, the following recurring annual benefits and outcomes are expected:

  • Every year, 300 trainees graduate with recognized plastic waste management qualifications.
  • In the research and development of joint ventures with trainees, two prototype products are developed from plastic waste and brought to market per graduating year.
  • After graduation, 80% of trainees find meaningful work in waste management and recycling.
  • At least 60 tonnes (5 tonnes per month) of plastic waste are recycled sustainably.

The Hub training modules have been integrated into the University’s curriculum. The integration of modules into the university program’s curriculum, as well as partner commitments, will ensure the Hub’s long-term viability and sustained outcomes.

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