Practical Action and Lamor Foundation declare war on plastics and poverty

By Andrew Heath On 09.03.2020 CitiesEnvironmentMarketsWater & waste

A bold collaboration intending to solve two of the world’s toughest problems has been signed.

Practical Action and the Lamor Foundation will raise Euro5m before beginning work in Bangladesh, introducing new technology which captures plastic bottles, bags and waste in rivers and turns it into high-grade oil.

At the same time they will address issues caused by the waste produced by fast-growing cities in the country which lack infrastructure, skills and knowledge to keep pace with the problems of a increasing populations.

It is estimated that 90% of plastic polluting our oceans comes from just 10 rivers and eight of them are in Asia.  Meanwhile, most waste workers in the region have no access to finance, legal recognition, healthcare or safety clothing.

The work will build on previous Practical Action projects and involve all levels of the waste value chain in Bangladesh, from employees working at landfill sites, to landfill site owners and local authorities to ensure the right combination of solutions are found in order to make sustainable changes for good.

PA and Lamor Foundation

Practical Action and the Lamor Foundation will work together to clean up rivers in Bangladesh and help waste workers retain their dignity.

At the same time, plastic waste from rivers and landfill sites will be transformed into oil for use by vehicles and machinery using new methods which do not produce harmful gases or by-products.

Practical Action opened an office in Bangladesh nearly 30 years ago and Lamor Corporation has been cleaning up oil spills and environmental disasters since it was founded in 1982. The Corporation launched the Lamor Foundation as a charitable arm in 2019.

CEO of Practical Action, Paul Smith-Lomas said: “We are looking forward to working with the Lamor Foundation.

“It is reassuring that we have been brought into this partnership at the very beginning so we can co-design the project from  the very start and ensure it addresses the needs of some of the most vulnerable and marginalised people in Bangladesh, as well as protecting the environment.

“We have an amazing track record of transforming waste management in Bangladesh by working with local authorities and the private sector and this is an opportunity for us to bring about huge change for good using our on-the-ground experience and the technological expertise of Lamor.”

Practical Action has been working to improve management of human and solid waste in Bangladesh for some time, but until now there has been no management of river plastics, which flow into the Indian Ocean and threaten wildlife.

President of the Lamor Foundation David Nazha said: “Our mission at The Lamor Foundation is to bring the near 40 years of experience that Lamor has in dealing with environmental issues globally and applying it into the charitable sector to tackle such issues as plastic pollution.

“A combination of commercial experience and operational expertise helps us to find a market based solution that will be in place for the long term and that has the potential to be replicated in multiple geographies.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Practical Action on this project and others. Their experience in designing, managing and delivering projects worldwide gives us confidence that together we will be successful in achieving our stated goals.”

For more information, or to get involved as a donor, contact Ian Derbyshire on 01926 634400 or email Ian.Derbyshire@practicalaction.org.uk