Nigerian Entrepreneur Turning Plastic Waste into Usable Items

2018-04-16

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1
  • Olayemi Samson is a Nigerian entrepreneur.
  • 2
  • He is turning plastic waste into useful things like clothing, school bags, car covers and shoes.
  • 3
  • Samson says he is doing his part to fight pollution and support recycling while making a style statement.
  • 4
  • A World Bank report says the city of Lagos makes about 9,000 metric tons of waste a day.
  • 5
  • Samson says part of that waste includes about 27 million plastic water bags.
  • 6
  • "This waste, it takes takes 20 to 30 years before they decay. Where are they going to?"
  • 7
  • Samson says that is when he came up with the idea of changing the waste into something useful.
  • 8
  • The first step in Samson's process is to collect the used bags from a dumpsite.
  • 9
  • Then, he washes them.
  • 10
  • After that, he can begin to sew the bags together, making car covers, school bags and other goods.
  • 11
  • His latest recycled creation is a raincoat.
  • 12
  • Some people cannot see past the history of Samson's creations.
  • 13
  • Emmanuel Itiniyi of Lagos says the products are dirty.
  • 14
  • He says, "I won't allow my child to wear it as a cloth to go to school or a bag to go to school. It doesn't make any sense."
  • 15
  • But others are more accepting, like Victor Anyaese.
  • 16
  • "Yes I can use it because, seeing the picture, it looks lovely. But it depends on the kind of outfit I am using it for. But I can use it probably for leisure."
  • 17
  • Samson's business is not profitable yet.
  • 18
  • But he hopes his work will help push young people and people in power to protect the environment.
  • 19
  • I'm Jonathan Evans.
  • 1
  • Olayemi Samson is a Nigerian entrepreneur. He is turning plastic waste into useful things like clothing, school bags, car covers and shoes.
  • 2
  • Samson says he is doing his part to fight pollution and support recycling while making a style statement.
  • 3
  • A World Bank report says the city of Lagos makes about 9,000 metric tons of waste a day. Samson says part of that waste includes about 27 million plastic water bags.
  • 4
  • "This waste, it takes takes 20 to 30 years before they decay. Where are they going to?"
  • 5
  • Samson says that is when he came up with the idea of changing the waste into something useful.
  • 6
  • The first step in Samson's process is to collect the used bags from a dumpsite. Then, he washes them. After that, he can begin to sew the bags together, making car covers, school bags and other goods.
  • 7
  • His latest recycled creation is a raincoat.
  • 8
  • Some people cannot see past the history of Samson's creations. Emmanuel Itiniyi of Lagos says the products are dirty.
  • 9
  • He says, "I won't allow my child to wear it as a cloth to go to school or a bag to go to school. It doesn't make any sense."
  • 10
  • But others are more accepting, like Victor Anyaese.
  • 11
  • "Yes I can use it because, seeing the picture, it looks lovely. But it depends on the kind of outfit I am using it for. But I can use it probably for leisure."
  • 12
  • Samson's business is not profitable yet. But he hopes his work will help push young people and people in power to protect the environment.
  • 13
  • I'm Jonathan Evans.
  • 14
  • VOA's Mariama Diallo reported on this story from Nairobi, Kenya. Xiaotong Zhou adapted it for Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.
  • 15
  • _______________________________________________________________
  • 16
  • Words in This Story
  • 17
  • entrepreneur - n. a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.
  • 18
  • dumpsite - n. a large trash receptacle
  • 19
  • metric - n. a standard of measurement
  • 20
  • allow - v. to permit (something): to regard or treat (something) as acceptable
  • 21
  • outfit - n. a set of clothes that are worn together
  • 22
  • leisure - n. enjoyable activities that you do when you are not working