In 2019, as part of its work in Timor Leste, Renew came across a local effort in Atauro (an island 30km off the coast from Dili) to both reduce plastic pollution on the island and provide income-earning opportunities for the local community.
The initative is called Ekipa Tasi Mos Atauro (translated as Clean Ocean Team Atauro). The team assist the community to reduce their use of single-use plastic, while at the same time collecting, recording and, now, recycling plastic pollution from the marine environment that surrounds Atauro.
The plastic recycling plant is based on designs by Dave Hakken’s Precious Plastic project (www.preciousplastic.com).
Currently HDPE plastic is upcycled into simple products to sell to tourists. As skills are developed, the aim is to develop building materials for use in the local community. Income generated by sales is used to pay community members to collect and process the plastic.
The electricity supply to the recycling station, from a small diesel-powered electricity grid, is limited to the evening hours (8pm to 7am). This is a major issue for Ekipa Tasi Mos Atauro.
Renew is currently raising funds to help install solar power at the recycling station which we estimate will cost $15,000. If you would like to help us reach our target, you can donate using the form below.