Recycling littered plastic bottles
Selamawit Thomas has a simple idea with a far-reaching impact. She is confident that her dream of recycling plastic bottles that are littered all over her beloved city would not just be good for the environment but also in its beautification. She also wants to use her idea as a way of creating sustainable employment for herself and others. “My idea is simple and it was started out of passion but now it has grown and many are beginning to see its benefits are coming on board to support us,'' she said. We want to make a huge impact”, she said proudly as she supervised a staff of 30 full time and part time employees. Named Cool Plastic Recycling and based in the naturally beautiful city of Hawassa, she started its operation in 2017, and uses the used bottles to create polythene tubes out of them. Because in her own words, “she was overwhelmed with all the used plastic bottles that were everywhere with little mechanism to have them recycled”. Recycle she did. She knew all those used plastic bottles that continue to overwhelm municipalities needed a concentrated solution and they certainly did not deserve to be thrown as garbage. Out of them, she also saw a public good.
“A t the beginning, selling my idea to the public was a challenge. However, as we moved forward, determined in our work, many came on board and we expanded, hired more passionate people who were not just looking for work, but had a passion for the environment and now, we are more determined to grow and are excited with our work and our future”, she added with the voice of someone with a long-term vision as well as commitment to what she does. While she understands her effort is certainly to yield success, she knows there is more to do and that is why she wants others to emulate her success, support her and see her effort for what it is – a public service.
“Recycling must be something that should be done by all of us. After all, the environment affects us all and we have to continue to find ways to recycle and protect it for ourselves and for the future generation. I am also grateful to the Entrepreneurship Development Institute and others who have supported me and has used some of the funds that have come my way, to expand my operation.”