Recycle Not A Waste Initiative – RECNOWA

Turning plastic waste into well-designed and high-fashion goods
Waste Management

The Recycle Not A Waste Initiative (RECNOWA) recycles waste plastic and other waste materials into well-designed products for daily use and fashion items. The initiative then promotes and sells the products. This creates employment and income opportunities for disadvantaged young people in the suburbs of Accra. RECNOWA employs young people from disadvantaged communities in the suburbs of Accra to collect plastic waste from their neighbourhoods. The discarded plastic waste is washed, disinfected and dried before being sorted by colour and shredded. Young skilled artisans develop individual designs to turn the plastic waste into products such as bags, jewellery and furniture. These products are then sold as eco-friendly, handmade items on national and international markets. RECNOWA plans to replicate the model across Ghana. 

Eco-Inclusive Impacts
The initiative promotes and sells products made from recycled plastic creating employment and income opportunities for disadvantaged young people in the suburbs of Accra.
  • Creating job opportunities for disadvantaged and unemployed young people in urban areas.
  • Supporting and training young artisans in “up-cycling” plastic waste, turning it into well-designed products.
  • Reducing the amount of plastic waste on the streets of Accra by collecting and “up-cycling” waste into well-designed products
  • Raising public awareness of plastic as an environmental hazard.
  • Creating stable sources of income for unemployed and disadvantaged young people, employing them as waste collectors and designers.
  • Delivering training in business skills to young people to help them establish their own small-scale businesses in the future.


RECNOWA trains and employs street youth from disadvantaged communities to clear their streets of plastic and other material waste and uses the creative talents of Ghanaian artisans to transform them into handmade designer products such as bags, jewellery, footwear, furniture and home décor that are ethically produced and eco-friendly.

Recycle Not A Waste Initiative is the lead partner, responsible for the design and production process as well as the coordination of distribution and sales activities.

The US Global Partnership is responsible for marketing the products to the United States and international fair-trade retail outlets.

Vande Consult offers management and strategic consultancy services for scaling up the initiative.