Skateboards made of bottle caps promote recycling in Brazil

RIO DE JANEIRO: In Brazil’s largest favela, or shanty town, of Rocinha, on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, a local project aims to promote recycling by donating food in exchange for bottle caps that are used to build skateboards.

Each colourful skateboard is made of 500 plastic bottle caps that are crushed, melted, placed into a mould and then baked in an industrial pizza oven. Each takes about two hours to complete.

“It’s made 100% from recycling plastic that is collected, recycled and fabricated here in Rocinha,” said Arian Rayegani, a Canadian mechanical engineer who heads the Na Laje Designs project.

“We are not a skateboard factory. It’s bigger than this. We want to create a hub and a centre of innovation for recycling here in Rocinha,” he said.

“Rocinha produces 230 tonnes of garbage a day and there is no recycling and waste management locally that actually deals with this implementation. That is what we want to do,” Rayegani added.

Each brightly coloured skateboard is made of 500 plastic bottle caps. (Reuters pic)

“Today we work on plastic, but tomorrow we want to be able to recycle paper, metal, glass and beyond that.

Arian Rayegani, a 28-year-old Canadian, the founder of “Na Laje Designs” project, makes a skateboard using recycled plastic waste that helps garbage collectors earn food donated in the Rocinha slum, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil October 22, 2021. REUTERS/Pilar Olivar
Arian Rayegani, a 28-year-old Canadian, the founder of “Na Laje Designs” project, selects plastic bottle caps to make skateboards from recycled plastic waste collected by garbage collectors in the Rochinha slum in exchange for food, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil October 22, 2021. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares
Arian Rayegani, a 28-year-old Canadian, the founder of “Na Laje Designs” project, makes a skateboard using recycled plastic waste that helps garbage collectors earn food donated in the Rocinha slum, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil October 22, 2021. Picture taken October 22, 2021. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares

“We want to bring the next generation, bring the kids here, to learn about it, to prevent the issue.”

REUTERS

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