We are part of a plastic recycling project based in Northern France focused on tackling the environmental impact of informal refugee camps in Calais and Grande-Synthe.
We are working to improve the dire living conditions of those who sleep rough in the area and reduce the hostility felt between permanent and transitioning communities.
The Precious Plastics project is to be shared by the communities we support and the locals we live alongside.
In this space Precious Plastic machines are being built to turn plastic waste, from informal camps and the local area, into new beautiful and useful items! (See video below!)
what is precious plastics?
Every day plastic items are used and discarded in the informal refugee camps in Northern France, often left in ditches or thrown away into the large skips to be sent to landfill.
With plastic items such as shampoo bottles, toothbrushes, razors and water bottles making up a large majority of the waste, we will be able to separate out what is recyclable to use in our Precious Plastic workshop.
Since the local authorities are not stepping up or assuming responsibility for the conditions people are forced to live in, we have started organising regular litter picks to reduce the longer term environmental impacts of the camps, improve living conditions and reduce the spreading of disease.
We want to close the loop in this area and turn other peoples' waste into practical objects to distribute in camp as well as selling high quality, low price and for-a-good-cause items made in this way to the general public.
The most important aspect of this project is the community that surrounds it.
Of course, the mass level of homelessness here has a direct impact on those who live alongside it. It’s changing the landscape they live in and the atmosphere they experience on a daily basis. We want to do more for those who live locally as we recognise that the political complexity of the situation is independent of them.
Our workshop space, located in Herzeele on the site of Maison Sesame will soon be open and accessible for everyone to use. It will be a place to deposit plastic waste, a place to create using the tools and facilities available, and a place to learn by participating in educational workshops and activities.
If you would like to help us with this project in any aspect, from raising money to project management working in the field, please send us an email!
Keep your eyes peeled and follow our Precious Plastics Herzeele Facebook Page for updates.