PENAMPANG: A non-governmental organisation is continuing to spread the message of recycling by turning used glass bottles into beautiful pots.
Ripple-Sabah Recycling Association (Ripple) has been collecting glass bottles from the community here since February last year, with donors getting 10kg of rice for 20kg of intact bottles. Using a machine, the glass bottles are then crushed into sand and turned into valuable by-products.
Ripple Sabah director, Jenifer Lasimbang, said to sustain the project, a team of Moyog women work on using the sand to make and sell plant pots to buy rice and cooking oil to exchange for donated glass.
"I am working with 10 women in Moyog and my daughter also helps in making and painting the pots.
"We have sold more than 300 pots and the proceeds will be used to purchase rice and cooking oil to encourage people to exchange their glass bottles," she told the New Straits Times.
Jenifer, who is also the former Moyog assemblyman, initiated the glass recycling project after someone got injured from shattered glass during a gotong royong.
Apart from the environmental and safety aspects, she also said the project helps those in need of basic necessities.
"When you buy a pot from us, remember this old lady. She collected glass bottles to exchange for this bottle of cooking oil.
"These items might be a small amount for some us, but it means a lot to her," she said, adding that the pots can be purchased from Moyog Innovation House at Jalan Kolopis here.
The team now has a studio in which to work on the pots, while Ripple would soon open a new centre in Tanjung Aru.
For future planning, Jenifer said she has also developed and presented a business plan to 10 pilot women entrepreneurs and their team.
"Some are interested in coordinating glass bottle collections at their respective villages while some want to venture into the pot business.
"As for the glass crushing machine, we definitely need more and hope district councils would want to invest in them."