Plastic Waste Repurposed: Youth’s ‘Plastic to Pavement Bricks’ Innovation

Plastic Waste Repurposed: Youth’s ‘Plastic to Pavement Bricks’ Innovation


By Alex Dadamu

A group of enthusiastic young girls from the Tuvaruhu community in Central Honiara is changing the game on how single-use plastic waste is reused.

The Resilience Innovation and Social Change Girls Club (RISC-GC), led by their inspiring President, Bethlyn Kelly has developed an innovative way to make pavement bricks using plastics.

The group also consisted of some of the males who were interested in being part of the initiative.

In a visit by SIBC News to their workshop, Kelly said the club started in 2022 as an initiative to curb the plastic waste in their community.

RISC-GC President Bethlyn Kelly

“It was during the pandemic period when we gathered and discussed how we can solve the most pressing issues in our environment.

“We identified that addressing the plastic waste issue would be ideal because everywhere you go you see plastics of all sorts being littered around the city, so we came up with the idea of using plastic waste to produce a product like the ‘pavement bricks.’

“Our Co-founder is Bobby Siarani and his wife, they cook up the idea of making pavement bricks out of plastics.

RISC-GC President Bethlyn Kelly compressing the melted plastic in the mould

“We experimented the whole of 2022, we tried different ratios and amounts of plastics and sands to produce strong quality bricks.

“In April last year, we were finally satisfied with our mixture which produces strong and quality pavement bricks,” Kelly said.

She pointed out that it is not an easy task to make the bricks but can be done through willingness and determination.

Finished Pavement Bricks

Bobby Siarani, who is instrumental in establishing the organization said promoting leadership among the young girls is a key initiative behind setting up the youth-led initiative.

“Most of the youth groups that we see in the country are male-driven in terms of leadership.

“My main idea to establish this group in our community as a community-based NGO is for these young girls to take the helm and lead the organization themselves to create their ideas and initiatives to be implemented as their activities,” Mr. Siarani pointed out.

Collected PET water bottles

Meanwhile the RISC-GC president, Ms. Kelly said their long-term goal is to acquire a bigger space to do their work and not at the current residential area where there are houses around their workshop.

“Acquiring a bigger space, access to good transport and having a system that can produce less smoke when heating the plastic for production is our long-term plan which we are working towards,” she said.


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