International Youth Day
Douala – August 12, 2022
11 billion kilograms of plastic
Every year, about 11 billion kilograms of plastic end up in our seas and oceans. A significant part of that waste ends up there via rivers. River Cleanup’s mission is to intercept the plastic before it arrives and to make people worldwide aware of this littering issue because plastic never decomposes.
River by river
Since November 2020, cleanups have been regularly organized with NAMé Recycling and Kilimanjaro Hakuna Matata, the local partners of River Cleanup (Belgian NGO). Actions focus on the Wouri River, one of the most polluted rivers in the world. The goal is clear: a plastic-free Wouri!
Clean – Educate - Transform
An important milestone was reached today on International Youth Day. In collaboration with NAMé Recycling, Kilimanjaro Hakuna Matata, Hysacam, and Waste Aid, more than 100 students – members of the Civic Service – came together for their 100th action along the river.
Throughout the week, actions followed one another. On Wednesday, 100 students from Lycée Josse received a 3-hour lesson. They were made aware of sorting, managing, and recycling waste, e.g., household, organic, plastic, and e-waste. Yesterday, 50 students, members of the Service Civique, visited the Namé Recycling facilities and discovered and learned everything about the transformation and recycling of plastic.
After the events, Mr. Massoda Martin, Director of Centre JOSS showed that even small gestures could significantly impact the environment. For example, instead of throwing plastic in nature, you can just as quickly throw it in one of the many Ecobins to have it properly recycled. This symbolic act marked the end of the 100th cleanup campaign but the beginning of a lasting transformation.
“In under two years, we have mobilized 6,130 volunteers and collected 1,266,687 kg of river waste, including 928,382 kg of plastic. In addition, we harvested 337,192 kg thanks to the use of Ecobins,” explains Pierre Ngoudi, River Cleanup Cameroon manager.
Thomas de Groote, the founder of River Cleanup, adds, “The ambition is clear: together, we will clean the Wouri from the source to its mouth. To achieve this ambition, we will intensify our efforts and focus on our three pillars: clean, educate and transform so we can enjoy a clean and plastic-free Wouri by 2030.”
Founder River Cleanup
Thomas de Groote
About River Cleanup
River Cleanup started in 2017 with a 10-minute cleanup and grew into an international organization with more than 170,000 volunteers active in 58 countries. By connecting people, businesses, and governments, the non-profit creates involvement and commitment to work together for a clean environment. The use of smart technologies can efficiently and effectively stop the 11 billion kg of plastic from reaching the oceans every year. In addition to cleaning rivers and shores, River Cleanup developed programs for schools and businesses to reduce the use of single-use plastic and make participants part of the solution. Partners include Delhaize, Unilever, AB Safety, Henkel, Boma, Multimasters Group, Volkswagen and EDI.
About NAMé Recycling
Founded in 2016, NAMé Recycling is a Belgian-Cameroonian company specialized in the recycling of plastic waste. It is involved in the entire recycling chain, starting from collection to transformation into semi-finished and finished products including PET flakes, strapping bands and soon plastic pallets.
NAMé's mission is to promote the circular economy by giving a second life to plastic waste and reduce plastic pollution while providing economic opportunities to communities.
About Civic Service
Service Civique is a training program for young Cameroonians aged between 17 and 21. It aims to raise awareness and promote young people’s participation in the country’s development. This program is piloted by the general management of the National Civic Service Agency for Participation in Development (ASCNPD) and placed under the supervision of the Ministry of Youth and Civic Education.
About Kilimanjaro Hakuna Matata
Kilimanjaro Hakuna Matata is a platform supported by the sports association Hope, which works for the social integration of young girls through nautical sports. The main objective is mobilizing friends of nature to preserve biodiversity and rivers.