Drinking water comes in sachets that cost a few cents. Cheap and convenient, they are sold in shops and by street hawkers. But once they have been drunk they are often simply dropped on the ground.
When British entrepreneur Stuart Gold saw Accra’s plastic problem he recognized an opportunity for a business venture — an NGO that could clean up the streets and create jobs in the community.
His idea was to collect discarded sachets, clean them up and stitch them together to make brightly colored, fashionable bags.
Two-and-a-half years later, Trashy Bags makes around 250 items a week and produces 350 different designs of bags, wallets and raincoats.
And crucially, its network of collectors has gathered some 15 million plastic sachets that might otherwise be on the streets of Accra.
“One of the problems in Ghana is the amount of plastic littering the streets,” Gold told CNN. “There isn’t a proper way of collecting waste and people aren’t educated as to the problems of plastic waste.