Help us help: Free electricity from plastic waste for the largest refugee camp in the world

With your help and in cooperation with the aid organization Practical Action we would like to provide a WASTX Plastic for the largest refugee camp in the world. We are thus solving two essential problems for more than 700,000 Rohingya in Kutupalong: We are creating a recycling structure for the accumulated plastic waste and generate urgently needed clean energy.

I'd like to help.

For many decades, the Rohingya have been victims of systematic persecution in their home country of Myanmar. Repeatedly, oppression culminated in radical military actions against the Muslim minority. As early as the 1970s and 1990s, more than half a million Rohingya sought refuge in neighboring Bangladesh.

Escalation of persecution

Almost exactly two years ago, on 25 August 2017, the persecution escalated into a brutal wave of persecution referred to as “ethnic cleansing” by the United Nations. Within a few days there was an unimaginable mass exodus: In just two months, over 600,000 Rohingyas had fled to Bangladesh.

November 2017: Still about 10 Rohingya are crossing the border to Bangladesh every minute to escape persecution.

The largest refugee camp in the world is built in Kutupalong

Within a few days, the camp in Kutupalong became the largest refugee camp in the world. At times more than a million people lived here. Currently, the camp still has more than 720,000 residents – as many as Frankfurt am Main. For those who already think that the population density of the German financial metropolis is very high, the following figures are useful: Frankfurt am Main covers an area of 248 km2, the Kutapalong refuguee camp only covers 18 km2.

Relief supplies ensure survival but also provide for a lot of plastic waste

Since the Rohingya in Bangladesh are still not allowed to work for a living, they are still dependent on the food rations of the United Nations. A family of seven, for example, receives 25 kg of rice, 7 kg of lentils and 2 liters of oil every two weeks.

The relief supplies ensure the survival of the Rohingya in Kutupalong, but also bring with them an immense challenge: plastic waste. With almost three-quarters of a million people, immense quantities of plastic waste result only from the packaging of the relief supplies.

Plastic waste among other wastes become an uncontrollable challenge and a danger to the health of over 700,000 Rohingya due to the monsoon rains in the camp.

Electrical energy is urgently needed

At the same time, there is no comprehensive energy supply for medical care in the camp, to provide light or generate heat in the refugees’ huts. At the same time, there is no comprehensive energy supply for medical care in the camp, to provide light or generate heat in the refugees’ huts.

One liter of fuel in exchange for every kilogram of plastic waste

With our WASTX Plastic, we would like to make a contribution here, in which the plastic waste can be recycled directly on site and converted into clean energy.

Currently, small generators provide energy for the residents. However, the fuel required for this is a scarce resource and often not available. The aim of our project is to establish a simple deposit system: For every kilogram of plastic waste collected, the residents immediately receive one liter of fuel.

Working with strong local partners

Since being a young startup we could not implement such a project ourselves, we have decided to partner with the nonprofit organization Practical Action an experienced partner. The relief organization has been providing assistance on the ground since the refugee camp was set up and will oversee the operation of the facility, provide technical support and coordinate the deposit system described above.

Your help counts!

With your help we can make an essential contribution to the health and life of the Rohingya in Kutupalong.

The project total is 250,000 € and covers all steps from production to commissioning on site:

  • WASTX Plastic
    • Pyrolysis reactor
    • Cooling system
    • Stepped condensation
    • Filter and discharge
    • Separator and residue discharge
    • Emergency torch
    • Remote monitoring system
  • High Cube Open Side Container
  • Material shredder
  • Day buffer and transport system
  • Gas engine for the use of the gas phase for the energy self-sufficient operation of the plant
  • Freight costs for the transfer to Bangladesh
  • Travel and personnel costs for the two-week commissioning and training on site
I'd like to help.

Further information about the Rohingya refugee camp in Kutupalong can be found here:

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