Greening Plastics in Senegal
Major issues such as waste management, environmental degradation and rising demand for food dominate the political agenda in the African country of Senegal. The Greening Plastics project focuses on the interaction between all these areas. The project contributes to a cleaner environment by collecting plastic and then melting it to produce simple drip-irrigation systems. In turn, these systems will make the work of local farmers more ‘climate-proof’ by saving water and improving crop yields.
Recycling & Passive Sampling
Like many other African countries, Senegal has a problem with large amounts of rubbish. The country is collecting more and more plastic. As a result, recycling is increasing rapidly. In the Greening Plastics project, Deltares is looking at whether agricultural equipment such as irrigation pipes can be made from recycled plastic.
The Greening Plastics project, which was launched in October 2016, will continue for a total of two years. Passive Sampling is applied to monitor water and soil quality in locations where recycled irrigation kits are used. In the Greening Plastics project, Deltares is looking at whether agricultural equipment such as irrigation pipes can be made from recycled plastic. In addition, there is also potential for the further development of the method so that it can be applied more widely in developing countries.
Passive samplers have numerous advantages. They are easy to use, cheap and can be used anywhere. Of course, the samples still have to be analysed in a laboratory. But when there are large numbers, the costs are not as high as might be expected and it is no longer necessary to send expensive professionals into the field with complex measuring equipment. This makes passive sampling ideal for measuring environmental quality in developing countries because everyone can take samples.
Greening Plastics is being funded by ViaWater, a financing programme of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for innovative solutions to problems with water in African cities. The partners are an Italian NGO, Lvia, who have been working on waste management in Senegal for some time now, and DMS, a local start-up that makes plastic products from recycled plastic.
In this pilot project solutions will be proposed which simultaneously interface with the waste, water and food sectors and strengthen the nexus between them. Therefore the project proposes an integrated approach to solve some of the most evident challenges faced by countries as Senegal.