In the 1950s, mass production of goods witnessed staggering growth and it’s been on an upward trajectory up until now.
While this is a testament to man’s capacity for innovation, we cannot ignore some of the adverse effects on the environment, one of which is pollution.
Did you know that 13 million metric tons of plastic waste enter the oceans every year? Yes, that’s right. To put this figure into perspective, it is equivalent to one garbage truckload every 60 seconds.
As shocking as this sounds, the Pew Charitable Foundation estimated that by 2040, the volume of plastics finding their way into the world’s oceans will triple the current figure.
The solution? A circular economy, according to experts, can address this growing threat to the environment and aquatic life.
Thus, the campaign against single-use plastic in favor of organic materials or plastics that can be recycled and reused is gaining momentum. The African continent, though not far behind in this fight, has its work cut out for it.
In Africa not up to 20 percent of plastics are recycled, far less than European Union targets of 50 percent by 2025.
As such, entrepreneurs are leveraging the power of technology to ensure that the EU’s target is met. One common innovation is platforms that connect waste recyclers to waste collectors.
As cheaper devices become available, the rates of smartphone adoption in Africa continue to increase. With smart mobile phones, users can access recycling and waste removal services. Here are some waste disposal apps that you might want to check out on Google Playstore.
Yo-Waste – Uganda
A tech waste disposal app, Yo-Waste provides recycling and smart city solutions to businesses and governments. It connects users to local waste haulers and recycling services.
Through the app, users can request and monitor waste pickups in real-time, make cashless payments as well as report missed pickups.
TakaCycle – Tanzania
This app offers efficient and fast waste disposal methods for households, commercials, and organizations. Users of TakaCycle not only get their recyclables taken out, but they also capture value from waste.
The app also instills eco-friendly values in users providing them with up-to-date environment, waste management, and recycling news, policies, and relevant pieces of information to make their Zero Waste dream come true.
Imagined Earth – South Africa
Imagined Earth is a revolutionary app, which has introduced reverse vending machines into South Africa. A Reverse Vending Machine (RVM] is an interactive platform that affords both businesses and consumers an opportunity to promotes efforts towards environmental sustainability in a convenient and rewarding way.
The Imagined Earth system can be accessed using product bar codes. The machine is able to process plastic, glass, steel, and aluminum, and rewards users for their recycling with money and rewards into a mobile wallet.
After scanning the barcode on the Imagined Earth app, users get to know if the piece of packaging waste is able to be recycled through the RVMs or not.
Wrapp – South Africa
This app bridges the gap between independent truck owners and clients, who need waste removed. While Wrapp saves users the trouble of sorting their waste, it also creates work for truck owners in a way that is environmentally conscious.
It allows customers to select the type of waste, type of truck, and time of collection for loads from 1.3 to 12 tons with costing quotes supplied in 60 seconds. Users can make payment after the waste has been delivered through a credit card or on the app.
OkwuEco – Nigeria
OkwuEco is a waste disposal app that uses image recognition software to inform households about recycling and links them with merchants who can trade their waste in exchange for cash credits or mobile data.
The app comes with an inbuilt GPS that guides merchants, helping them locate various households’ waste especially in clogged streets of urban areas.