Dar es Salaam streets and dumping sites collect an approximate of 400 tons of plastic daily. Not much of this wastes are recycled, statistics show that only 10 percent of the wastes are recycled with another portion of the collected plastic waste exported to China for recycling. The good news is that there are small recycling companies, which have started to come up in Dar es Salaam because of innovation and technology. One of such enterprises is the STICLab. STICLab is working hard to make Dar es Salaam healthier and conducive to live in. They are using the waste products to make a variety of medical tools. STICLab has two primary objectives in Dar es Salaam, to help the medical sector and to clean up the ecosystem. This recycling company wants the people here to change their perception towards trash and see it as available.
From Plastic Waste to Filament
The STICLab has dubbed the project ReFabDar. The STICLab already has a 3D printed medical microscope that they hope to use in the project. The company majors on plastic bottles and is planning to make 3D filaments out of them. The engineers are again hoping to use the 3D filaments to innovate more products. The 3D modeling makes the design of the filament then a 3D printer produces it. The effort of producing filaments in Tanzania will help Tanzanians to save a lot of money bearing in mind that one kg of filament cost as high as $80 when one imports from China.
STICLab said that they have also been able to produce other products like jewelry, education items, consumer goods, and spare parts for Tanzanian market. An increase of Tanzanian entrepreneurs in the recycling industry can make a significant difference by millions of products manufactured daily.
The ReFabDar Project
Malaria is common among Tanzanians, and the simple instrument that is used to test it is the microscope. You will not get a microscope in every village, using new technologies will save many lives, and it is easier to use and cheaper. The STICLab has several innovations for Tanzanians with this one of recycling plastic being one of them. Engineers from STICLab are encouraging plastic recycling, a filament is a valuable asset to them, and Tanzania is becoming a beneficiary in the near future if they implement and follow the footsteps of companies like STICLab.