In the middle of the Sahara, refugee camps create a lot of waste, which is dumped onto a growing pile of plastic. But in one such camp, refugees are turning that plastic trash into products they can use or sell. When the UNHCR put out a call for help with two challenges—waste and unemployment—Precious Plastic, an organization with a DIY recycling system, stepped in and shipped everything needed to set up the new recycling center. Refugees at the camp embraced the new center wholeheartedly. “We had a few design sessions,” says Joseph Klatt, the managing director of Precious Plastic. “And then they were just super stoked on coming up with ideas that made sense to them.” The U.N. is paying a group of refugees to work at the recycling center for the first year of its operation; thereafter, refugees will become part owners in the facility.

Read Full Story