CAPE TOWN – Re-Trade Project is a Port Elizabeth-based offers much-needed assistance allowing the vulnerable to trade recyclable materials for food, clothes and toiletries.
Maria Grewar founded the Re-Trade Project to tackle poverty within the Walmer Park community which saw high levels of pollution and dumping seeing it as an opportunity to provide a sustainable way of living amongst the vulnerable.
The community-based recycling and social empowerment project is set up as a trade shop where recyclable materials can be traded for food, clothes and toiletries by the disadvantaged community and members helping them become environmentally responsible while gaining access to essential items and food.
The initiative has seen the difference in the community already with the improvement of tidiness and those usually seen begging are now cleaning up their surroundings with purpose and dignity.
The way in which it works is families and individuals collect recyclable waste like plastic bottles, tins, card, white paper and mixed paper then go on Friday mornings, between 9 and 11 am, exchange the recyclable materials at Fountain Vineyard Church for an exchange from the trade store.
“Our volunteers assist traders by assessing the recyclable materials, assigning credit for the recyclables and then helping individuals ‘purchase goods’ in the Trade Store – a small shop set up on the premises which stock basic essentials such as food, toiletries, coats, blankets and clothing,” Re_trade wrote on their website.
“The Trade Store is primarily stocked by donations from individuals but has also included businesses, friends of the project and the wider community. All recyclable materials are collected by a local recycling company and all profits attained are used to purchase new stock for the store.”
All recyclable materials are collected by Recycle Yourself and all profits attained are then used to purchase further stock for the store.
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