Added: Feb 16, 2021
Last edited: Mar 16, 2021
Pyramid recycles all types of recyclable and non-recyclable plastics into new products.
Recent statistics from a 2019 UNDP report indicate that only 2-5% of plastics generated in Ghana are recycled, while the rest end up in landfills, in the ocean or burned. Meanwhile, as a material, plastic has a wide range of applications, meaning recycled and reused plastics can replace virgin resources, even preventing deforestation where it can provide a substitute for wood.
Pyramid Recycling began by recovering plastic waste. However, they realised that this was not enough to prevent the plastic returning to the streets, as most was downcycled into plastic bags, used once and then ending up in gutters. Pyramid invented their own products such as curtain ropes, chair fittings (‘chair shoes’) and ‘wood plastics’, which they sell in Ghana, Ivory Coast, Togo and Burkina Faso. They recycle PET, LDPE, HDPE, PS, GPPS and PVC into plastic products. As one of the first to start recycling in Ghana, Pyramid has trained many others who have gone on to establish local recycling companies. Most pelletise and export plastics. Yougbare helped found the National Plastic Recyclers Union, which comprises 50 member companies. In addition, Pyramid has created livelihood opportunities that would not otherwise have existed, by training waste pickers, including many single mothers, who supply Pyramid and other recyclers with plastics, supplying 65% of the four to five tonnes of plastics Pyramid receives each week. The rest are collected from plastic producing companies, often from waste packaging. Pyramid’s innovative ‘wood plastic’ has been certified by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Ghana
This case study has been created as part of Footprints Africa's work to build the first ever comprehensive mapping of circular economy initiatives in Africa. This will lay the foundation open-source database that can inspire local initiatives, as well as inform the global dialogue, which is largely focused on the European and American contexts. We are doing this in collaboration with the African Circular Economy Network (ACEN). ACEN's vision is to build a restorative African economy that generates well-being and prosperity inclusive of all its people through new forms of economic production and consumption which maintain and regenerate its environmental resources.
The objective is to build an open-source database featuring 500 cases by the end of 2021, with strong regional representation. These will feature in the Knowledge Hub and are also being mapped by GRID-Arendal.
Waste as a resource