Over 20,000 tons of solid waste are produced every day in Peru, most of which is dumped in waterways or informal landfill.
Plastic water bottles are one of the biggest problems. Because the water is not safe to drink, the country relies heavily on bottled water. It’s cheap and sold everywhere, and the bottles just get discarded. Efforts are being made to improve recycling especially in cities like Lima, but in many villages rubbish is separated on the streets.
Caue and Diego have been gathering plastic for recycling since 2016.. They began collecting plastic bags, and weaving them into sleeping mats for tourists. They’ve now expanded their enterprise using a Kiva loan to buy the machinery to break down coloured plastic to create filament for use in 3D printing.
In 2019 they were able to repay their loan , move into a bigger building , buy a commercial 3D printer and create local employment for other young men.