Increasing Employment by Creating Value from Plastic Waste in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is facing a significant plastic waste problem. Each year an estimated 800,000 tonnes of plastic waste are generated. Most single-use plastic generated in Bangladesh ends up in landfills, the local environment or the ocean. The challenges of single use plastic management are escalating.

The main objective of the project is to increase and improve employment through creating a new market for single use plastic waste that currently has very limited commercial value.

This project will transform the lives of informal waste workers, create new jobs, and reduce plastic waste pollution.

The project assists waste-worker groups in Faridpur and three other towns in collecting single-use plastics from households, businesses, dumps, and rivers. Plastics will then be pyrolyzed into light synthetic fuel oil and black carbon, which will be sold locally. Furthermore, to reduce river-based plastic pollution, which would flow into the Indian Ocean, the Project will install a floating litter trap to remove plastic from the river. The plastic collection will provide job opportunities and income to waste-workers, while the sale of oil will ensure the sustainability and financial viability of the pyrolysis business.

This responsible and profitable recycling model aims not only to provide decent jobs and income opportunities but also to significantly reduce plastic waste pollution, counteracting the harmful effects of current plastic burning practices. So far, the project has created 311 jobs, including 194 for female workers, through Practical Action’s cooperative system. On average the plastic waste workers have seen their incomes rise by 1000 taka monthly, a trend expected to continue once the pyrolysis plant is in full operation. The plant’s construction in Faridpur is complete, and with the imported pyrolysis unit ready for installation, the expectation is to process up to 800 kg of plastic daily during a pilot phase.

This venture not only transforms waste into wealth but also contributes to a healthier, more sustainable future for all involved, setting a positive precedent for environmental innovation and community development.

From the link below, you can read a brief project description from the project consortium:
Increasing Employment by Creating Value from Plastic Waste in Bangladesh

If you are interested in more information about the process, feel free to read the documents below:

FAQ – Pyrolysis_FinalPlastic

Fact Sheet_Final

Administrative Partner Practical Action
Key Commercial Partner Riverrecycle Oy
Other Partners Lamor Oy, Society Development Committee (SDC)
Country Bangladesh
Sector Circular economy
Open / Closed Open
Duration July 2021 - December 2025
Approval Year 2020