March 02, 2016

Ten thousand recycled school bags

Yara teamed up with the NGO Trashy Bags, turning old fertilizer bags into 10.000 school bags for primary school kids in rural areas.
School bags made of recycled fertilizer bags
School bags made of recycled fertilizer bags

It is called “Yara 10,000 School Bags Project” and it’s an initiative where 10,000 school bags produced from used Yara fertilizer bags will be distributed to primary school children in farming communities across Ghana. Together with a school bag, each child will also receive a notebook and a pencil. In total, over 40 primary schools across the country will benefit from this initiative.

“Through this project we want to emphasise the importance of education in rural farming communities as well as recycling and reusing waste, while shedding light on the importance of agriculture as a valid career choice for the youth,” explains Sergio Godoy, Managing Director of Yara Ghana. “Agriculture is one of the most important industries in Ghana’s economy and education is key to ensuring the development of this industry.”

Working with Trashy Bags

Children with school bags made of recycled fertilizer bags

“You may not realize it today, but these bags could produce a doctor, these bags could produce a farmer,” said Deputy Minister of Environment, Hon. Dr. Benes Hellu, at the launch on 1 March.

The project arose through a collaboration with Trashy Bags (external link), a Ghanaian NGO that makes recycled eco-friendly bags and gifts from plastic waste. Trashy Bags employs over sixty employees – predominantly women, often single mothers with limited job opportunities – to collect, clean and stitch discarded plastic products and transform them into fashionable bags and other useful products.

Yara is committed to the protection of the environment, and dedicated to lead by example and to inspire the youth to take care of the environment by the proper disposal of waste and recycling. Sergio Godoy said “Every year Yara supplies approximately 2 million bags of fertilizer products to villages and farmers nation-wide.

As a company, one of our goals is to support Ghana and the Ghanaian farmer, by helping create a long term and sustainable agriculture industry. Young people need to be adequately prepared for the future they will inherit and they must be aware of the crucial role that agriculture will play in community and national prosperity. Through this project, we hope to promote the importance of education, especially in farming communities.”

Environmental awareness

Mr. Godoy added, “We acknowledge that this project is a drop in the bucket in comparison to what we hope to achieve supporting local farming communities in the long term. However, it is our hope that this initiative sheds light on the great need for resources in these areas and in turn spark a wave of even more private sector involvement.

Yara Ghana’s activities go beyond supporting increased farmer yields. By sharing its knowledge, expertise and passion for sustainability with farmers and their families, Yara aims to inform the recipient communities on important environmental issues, the importance of maintaining a sustainable environment, responsible waste disposal and recycling. Godoy emphasised that this initiative hopes to encourage school children to recycle and hopefully spark a recycling culture in the wider community.