Uniquely Ugandan Upcycling

Uniquely Ugandan Upcycling

Five affordable ways to support our environment and our communities

Sometimes, upcycling and recycling seem elusive and expensive, but highlighted here are five Ugandan products which are affordable, practical, and useful in everyday life. Whether you’d like to purchase the items, or donate the materials used in making them, contact information is included for each upcycler.

01 Glass Covers (plastics)

Often marketed as coasters, I find these even more useful as glass- and mug-covers to keep insects out while I enjoy Uganda’s amazing outdoors! Made entirely of recycled plastics, these colourful discs add fun and purpose to any table-setting or sundowner-gathering. They don’t easily blow off as cardboard-covers do, and they are more durable and washable than net-covers.

They are sold at various retail outlets and are made by Takataka Plastics
Contact: 0780.177.969, 0784.393.850 |  Facebook: takatakaplastics

02 Sanitary Pads (office paper)

While there are many ways to recycle and upcycle newspaper, the paper we all use in our offices and schools has fewer options for reuse. This project is fulfilling so many important needs by turning such paper into sanitary pads.

MakaPads:  Tel: 0393.22.81.12 or 0789.602.619

Lidded box baskets made from binding straps
Lidded box baskets made from binding straps

03 Box Baskets (binding straps)

Made from reused packaging/binding straps, these colourful and ingenious baskets—with lids and carrying handles—are perfect for lunches and picnics, gift-hampers, extra storage, and more. They, too, come in a variety of sizes.

WhatsApp: +211921780624 or +256752248400

04 Paper Bags (Office Paper)

These bags are extremely affordable (literally almost free). They are made from paper collected from various government and business offices around Kampala—not recycled, but upcycled—so the documents’ contents are still legible on the final products. Frequently used by chapatti-street-food-vendors, they are also a good substitute for envelopes, sharing loose change, protecting boda deliveries, packing lunches, and wrapping fragile items.

And they provide some interesting reading material as you ask yourself about the context of the text on your bag (available in several sizes).

Many different groups make these bags. Two contacts are:
Mukasa: (0759.499.840)
Juliet: (0774.643.290)

Just two of the paper bag sizes available
Just two of the paper bag sizes available
Upcycled plastic cover on a cut glass
Upcycled plastic cover on a cut glass

05 Cut Glasses (wine bottles)

I think these are perhaps the most commonly upcycled item in Uganda at the moment. Very affordable, quite strong, and available in a variety of sizes and colours.

Two of the upcyclers making these glasses are:
Good Glass in Kampala: 0775.36.00.67 |  facebook: GoodGlassUg
AidChild Leadership Institute in Entebbe: 0777.44.58.10 |  facebook: AidChild

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