2017 has proven to be the year of anti-plastic ambassadors. Many groups are engineering alternatives for the material, whether to replace coffee capsules and even Legos. On the other hand, the Kenyan government wants to speed up the process by banning plastic bags entirely.
Beginning [August 28], if you’re carrying your groceries in a plastic bag or put out your trash in a disposable one, you could be fined up to $38,000 or be sent to jail for up to four years.
While the motion holds good intentions, it is economically stressing. Thousands of Kenyans work within the plastic industry. There are no cheap and readily available plastic alternatives.
“It’s not the plastic’s fault. It’s a lack of a system to collect the plastic and reuse it and make a value chain out of it beyond that first usage.”
The material may be affecting water, livestock, and public health, but the fact of the matter remains the same. Communities need to recycle. Let’s not forget that a single household’s segregated trash could make a world of a difference.
To ease difficulties within rural communities, startups such as Off Grid Box are doing their best to provide essentials. Without significant funding, water and energy supplies aren’t always on a high. However, a secondary school in Kenya is prioritizing its students by sporting a solar roof.
One of its iron-sheet roofs is covered in tiles fitted with energy-producing solar cells – an innovative solar-power technology known as “building-integrated photovoltaics.”
Compared to solar panels, the tiles are cost-friendly, although pricier than conventional rooftops. Strauss Energy, along with the United States African Development Foundation, is responsible for providing tiles to the Gaitheri school. Since then, the school has supplied not only reliable energy to its students, but alternative classes as well.
We’ve got 18 computers, but power was a challenge before Strauss Energy came on board,”
Monthly, Gaitheri saves $14.50 on electricity. With some 45 million Kenyans lacking access to electricity, Gaitheri’s solar tiles are groundbreaking. On the plus side, photovaltic equipment is becoming cheaper and more accessible, with the potential to light up buildings anywhere in the world.