by Deanna Maria R. & Emmy Hikins

What if all plastic waste could be used immediately and it would help students learn at half the cost? In the Ivory coast, classrooms are being constructed, at half the cost of conventional means, from bricks made out of 100% waterproof recycled plastic. Each year, only 5% of the Ivory Coast’s plastic waste is recycled and 1.6 million children don’t attend school. So many children and not enough space is one of the main reasons children in the Ivory Coast are unable to receive an education. The Ivory Coast needed an unconventional solution to solve this overwhelming issue.

Eureka! Bring on the plastic. Conceptos Plasticos, a company out of Columbia, invented bricks made entirely from 100% recycled plastic and along with UNICEF, helped to create 26 classrooms in the Ivory Coast in 2018. In the next two years, the idea is to build approximately 528 more classrooms to accommodate the 1.6 million uneducated or undereducated children of the Ivory Coast.

This is wonderful news for teachers who have taught sometimes 100 children at once in classrooms so small there wasn’t anywhere for students to sit. Angeline, a teacher for over 40 years, is one such person whose students will greatly benefit from this unique solution. Waterproof, at half the cost, an increase in reduction of plastic waste with unlimited supply, and more children receiving an education; sounds like a win-win all around.