Peru gets recycling in the bag with plastic ponchos

Each item is made out of 80 recycled plastic bottles

A campaign in Peru is turning millions of plastic bottles into thousands of ponchilas – a poncho and rucksack hybrid.

The initiative from Cencosud, Agua San Luis, Pacífico Seguros and UN Environment aims to protect the poorest children in the Andes, many of whom must travel several kilometres a day in the rain to get to school.

The scheme has produced more than 7,000 of the items so far this year alone – each item is made out of 80 recycled plastic bottles.

In Peru, 18,000 tons of waste are generated every day, around a tenth of which is plastic – very little of this is recycled.

Environment Minister Fabiola Muñoz said: “With this initiative what we are doing is closing the circle, using our waste and giving them an added value through recycling.

“A bottle that served you can become something useful for someone else. We have the opportunity to convert something that apparently no longer has a use into a positive thing with a new use.”

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