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 Trashy News 2012

Smart Ghana Initiative

2012 will see the launch of an exciting campaign initiated by Trashy Bags in close cooperation with CHF International together with the French Embassy and the Australian High Commission in Ghana.  

The Smart Bag Project is the first project under the umbrella of a wider campaign dubbed the Smart Ghana Initiative.

The Trashy Smart Bag is a unique bag that has been designed to replace disposable plastic bags for grocery shopping and is itself made from around 70 used plastic sachets collected from the streets of Accra or as part of a local re-cycling programme.

The programme actually started in 2011 with CHF International donating money to local NGOs to set up three locations in Accra which would house ‘Smart Teams’ - each consisting of ten unemployed young people, trained by Trashy Bags to make the Trashy Smart Bag. Each team has been set up as an autonomous unit that collects its own plastic sachets and processes them into Trashy Smart Bags for delivery to Trashy Bags.

Trashy Bags will be obtaining sponsorship from various organizations to purchase the bags from the Smart Teams and then distribute them to markets and supermarkets at zero cost.  The retailers will sell the bags for a maximum of one Ghana Cedi.  Using this scheme it will be affordable for ordinary Ghanaians to purchase the bags and to use them whenever they do their grocery shopping.  This will help to reduce the burden of plastic waste from thin plastic bags in the environment and help to reduce the number of plastic water sachets that are so ubiquitous on the streets of Accra; as well as creating employment for the youth.

An important part of the campaign will be to educate the general public in Ghana about the dangers of runaway plastic waste.  To that end Trashy Bags will be developing and printing an environmental magazine that will fit neatly in the bottom of each Smart Bag that is sold.

Trashy Bags would like to acknowledge the generous support of the French Embassy and the Australian High Commission in Ghana for this campaign.

Schematic diagram from the SGI working document. The Smart Ghana Initiative being introduced at Game in the Accra Mall in 2011. Mr. William (Billy) Williams, Australian High Commissioner to Ghana presenting the award to Elvis Aboluah of Trashy Bags

The forerunner to the Smart Ghana Initiative was Fight The Plastic Plague, a campaign launched by the French Embassy in Ghana in 2008 and managed jointly by Trashy Bags.

Further Reading

SGI Working Document
Ghana Government - Official Portal

Plastic Waste Reinvented Exhibition - November 2012 to May 2013

In October 2012 Trashy Bags was invited by Alliance Francaise in Accra to inaugurate a completely new exhibition space at the Alliance site which would run for six months.

The installation exhibit was designed to illustrate the problem of plastic waste in West Africa and Ghana in particular.  At the same time the installation shows the work that Trashy Bags is doing to mitigate this growing problem.

For more images and details see Trashy Bags Installation Exhibit.

Finalist in Ethical Fashion Forum Source Awards 2012

We are happy to announce that Trashy Bags was short listed as a finalist in this prestigious award.  The final culminated in a ceremony that took place in London’s West End.