Teaching youth to create a value for waste

Phanny Mongwire makes products from discarded bottle caps.

For a week, Muizenberg was filled with curious and ingenious upcycling experts visiting from all over the world.

As part of what is known as Start Upcycling – an international platform and network for youth and young entrepreneurs to fight waste by reusing and upcycling resources – these visitors travelled to Muizenberg to share their upcycled art and programmes, and to learn what happens locally.

The crew came from India, Brazil, Poland, Italy, Greece, Germany, Romania and met with counterparts locally.

Each participant had the opportunity to share their particular contribution and the mix of uses for other people’s junk produced
Trashion Shows and board games that educate children about differ-
ent plastics, art and functional furniture.

Aaniya Omardien of The Beach Co-Op said: “It was wonderful to meet the Urban Resilience and Start Upcycling teams. We crossed over at Surfers’ Corner for our monthly new moon beach clean-up and shared stories about how we need to create a value for waste.

“Another key area for The Beach Co-op is youth development and this resonated with a game that has been developed in India for kids to learn and understand the different types of plastic – we hope to ‘test’ the game in South Africa too.”

On Global Recycling Day the teams spent the morning combing the beach and vlei for rubbish. There was plenty.

This highlighted the urgency for serious upstream work – as the team said, people should not be picking up the aftermath, but rather stopping the mess at the source.

The Hive was host to what was called an Upcycle Jam where the international and local participants exhibited their art and products.

The international team was hosted at The Hive by Calvin Diaz, a member of their international group who lives locally.