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Charity sets up bin-twinning campaign to support Haiti, Pakistan, and Uganda

18 September 2020

Eco Brixs

The Eco Brixs project in Uganda

The Eco Brixs project in Uganda

CHURCHES, households, schools, and businesses in the UK are being invited to take part in a new “bin-twinning” campaign to support waste-collection projects in Haiti, Pakistan, and Uganda.

It was launched this month by the Christian charity Tearfund, which also founded the “toilet-twinning” campaign to improve sanitation in developing countries. Participants are being asked to donate £45 to­­wards the projects, in exchange for a “bin twin” sticker for their bin.

TearfundA “bin-twinning” sticker

Two billion people — almost a quarter of the global population — have no waste collection of any kind, Tearfund reports. In developing countries, it is estimated that one person dies every 30 seconds of dis­eases associated with waste that is not safely managed.

The Bin Twinning projects are based in poorer urban communities where rubbish has been burnt or dumped in streets and waterways. One project, Eco Brixs, in Masaka, south Uganda, was set up by British-born Andy Bownds on land donated by the local church. About 90 per cent of plastics in the country go to landfill or are burnt illegally. Resid­ents are paid cash for the plastics they collect.

“In poor urban areas like ours, there’s no waste collection; so most people have a pit in their garden where they burn rubbish,” Mr Bownds said. “It’s deeply ingrained be­­haviour. There’s a school [that’s] just been built right next to the local dumpsite, and the fumes are awful.”

Tearfund also plans to create “green” jobs, both in waste collection and at recycling hubs where organic waste is composted and plastics are turned into market­able products such as paving tiles and fence posts.

Its overseas partners are also rais­ing community awareness about the impact of waste on health and the environment, encouraging indivi­d­uals to reduce their plastic use, and lobbying governments and busi­nesses to reduce the amount of waste produced. The charity has also been lobbying the multinational food businesses Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Unilever, and Nestlé to reduce their plastic waste.

The chief executive of the Bin Twinning campaign, Lorraine Kingsley, said: “We take our rubbish collections for granted, but soon notice when our bin isn’t emptied. Yet billions of people don’t have any waste collection, which has serious consequences for their health and the environment. Waste is a hugely neglected development issue.

“As Christians, we’re called to be good stewards of God’s creation; so reducing our waste footprint should be part of our response, especially as so much UK plastic ends up abroad. We hope twinning their bin and seeing the Bin Twinning sticker will help people become more mindful of how much waste they generate, as they support innovative start-ups tackling the waste crisis overseas.”

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