MALAWI: Turning bottles into drinking glasses

The Mchinji District Rural Women’s Assembly (RWA) members have started recycling used glass bottles by turning them into household items such as tumblers as just one way of ensuring litter-free surroundings.

RWA leader for Mchinji district, Sarah Kanthiti, says because glass bottles are in different shapes and sizes, it is easier to work with them and change them into various items, such as glass tumblers. The size and shape of the bottles is what makes them unique. “We recycle these into cups or glass tumblers that are used in our homes and sell to others, thereby making money in the process,” explains Sarah.

\”The bottles that are commonly used are beverage bottles since they are found locally in our different locations and, in some cases, they are taking space that could be used for cultivation or storage for other equally important things,\” says Sarah.

“We sell the bottom part of the glasses at $1.00 after turning it into a drinking glass. For the remaining part, we sell it at $10.00, which people usually use in decorating their fences. We believe this will be help us to pay school fees for our children and other basic needs since the business helps us to be financially stable,” she adds.

The women learnt the process of recycling bottles through Kakodo, which is one of the developmental partners in the area. Kakodo was invited to train the rural women after one of the members saw the business as viable. Recycling glass bottles has reduced waste in communities and the country as whole. It also plays a major role in the fight against climate change, which has had a severe impact on people and agriculture.

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