Case study – Plastic bags

Plastic weaving in Douala, Cameroon
Conceived by Madame Marie Louise, AFHALITD (Association des Fille/Femmes Handicapée pour L’intégration Total au Devélopment) was formed in 1994 to assist women living with disabilities in the Douala 2 of Douala city, Cameroon. The main thrust of the association is to help disabled live an independent life; one in which they are able to live a dignified life and look after their children/families, and on in which they are not condemned to begging on the streets.

Before the Waste to Wealth programme, some of the 60 members earned income from dressmaking, however, the majority relied on donations from well-wishers to the Association for the purchase of mobility aids, such as wheelchairs and crutches, for their members, and help the least fortunate with their living expenses.

However, AFHALITD was selected by local partner, FCTV as one of the Associations that could most benefit from Waste to Wealth’s functional training opportunities in recycling to generate income from waste. Subsequently, three of their members received training on how to pre-treat and weave waste plastic bags into saleable products, such as key holders, bags and hats. These three members have trained four others, so the Association has 7 members that are now able to weave plastics to generate a secondary income (approximately €50/month).

Madame Marie Louise said

“We are very grateful to FCTV and the W2W programme for giving members of our Association the abilities to earn income, and some for the first time in their lives, and this has given our membership great pride and a new level of independence.”