The KOLEKT app is now in the hands of various different types of users in Mozambique and Angola, as part of the first phase of the study and pilot project to establish if a digital waste management solution could improve waste collection and recycling in Southern Africa.
During March and April, Circular Action Director, Thierry Sanders, visited the countries to begin the trials, and to establish a chain of end-to-end users. The users include informal waste pickers, community recycling points, businesses such as restaurants and even a church, who are now using the free app to advertise the different types of waste they have collected. Buyers, which include recyclers and exporters, are now using KOLEKT to both respond to sellers’ offers, and to also advertise what they want to buy, and the price they are willing to pay. The app has instantly brought transparency to the trading of waste, making supply and demand visible.
“The response to the app by both sellers and buyers has been overall very positive, despite requiring a change in their practices. Sellers were quick to see how they could increase their income, or in the case of the church, to create an additional revenue stream through the sale of donated waste, and they were keen to participate. For one of the buyers, a recycler, the app offers an easy way to identify and secure new sources of the HDPE plastic they want, and to better monitor the buying and selling of plastics by their field team.” Thierry Sanders commented.
Both countries have an acute lack of recycling infrastructure and underfunded municipal waste collection, in Mozambique less than 2% of solid waste is recycled or composted.
Funded by the European Union Africa RISE (Reform for Investment and Sustainable Economies) programme, Circular Action is working with the National Waste Agency [NWA] Angola and AMOR Mozambique. The project started in March 2023 in Mozambique, followed by Angola in April, and it is expected that both pilots will be completed by early July. Learnings will then be shared with other countries in the Southern African (SADC) region.
AMOR’s Founder Stephane Temperman said, “I am so convinced by an app like KOLEKT for the circular economy, that I have hired a team of five staff to roll it out.”
Neither country has Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation in place yet, but they are exploring the benefits and complexities of an EPR regulation in the coming years to help tackle the waste problem. While in Angola, Thierry Sanders, consulted with the Government outlining the impacts of EPR regulation over the next 10 years, providing insight into the potential costs and revenue generation for various different materials.
“KOLEKT provides proof of purchase of recyclables. Registering the seller, buyer, GPS location and photos will help recyclers to certify their contribution. Once independently audited, recyclers will be able to sell these certificates to the companies producing the waste, in order for them to comply with any new EPR legislation. These certificates are called ‘plastic credits’. This will make recycling more lucrative, thereby generating more demand for recyclable materials. It will be a boost for the circular economy.” Said Thierry Sanders.