Widening the Net: keep our rivers and seas plastic free


Thank you for supporting our 2019 UK Aid Match appeal to stop plastic pollution. Your donations will be used to build a plastics recycling training centre in the coastal city of Douala, Cameroon.

Trainees will learn to make products from plastic waste, stopping it entering rivers and ultimately the Atlantic Ocean.

Although aid match ended on 31 July, all donations still have a big impact.

Protecting wildlife from plastic pollution in the Cameroon estuary

The Cameroon estuary in the east Atlantic is a global marine biodiversity hotspot.

The mudflats and mangrove forests are home to many waterbirds, and are internationally important breeding grounds for fish, sea turtles, African manatees and other wildlife.

The mangrove forest provides spawning grounds for many types of commercial fish, which provide income for 40% of Cameroonians. Around a third of the fish caught in the Cameroon estuary is exported to Europe.

Mangrove forest

Mangrove forests provide a safe haven for spawning fish and other young marine animals. Learn more.

West African manatee

These gentle giants are vegetarian, feeding off grasses that grow among the mangrove. Learn more.

Leatherback turtle

The largest of all the sea turtles, leatherback turtles can dive deeper than any other marine animal. Learn more.

Rivers of rubbish

With no rubbish collection, waste accumulates in dry riverbeds.

When monsoon season arrives, rain washes the plastic into the fragile Cameroon estuary. It becomes tangled in the mangrove forest, and mistaken for food by hungry turtles and gentle manatees.

Eventually the tide flows out to the wide Atlantic Ocean, sweeping vast amounts of plastic to sea.

Sir David Attenborough: there’s No Time To Waste

Tackling the Plastic Pollution Crisis Before it’s Too Late

In May 2019, Sir David Attenborough launched the report by Tearfund, FFI, WasteAid and IDS, No Time To Waste, saying: “This report is one of the first to highlight the impacts of plastic pollution not just on wildlife but also on the world’s poorest people.”

Read the report: No Time To Waste

Read what the media said: The Independent, Daily Mail, The Telegraph, The Guardian, Huff Post and Sky Ocean Rescue.

Fighting poverty and plastic pollution

We are aiming to train 300 people near the Cameroon estuary to recycle plastic waste into useful products, like paving tiles and roof tiles.

Your donation will give people in poverty life-long skills so they can put plastic waste to good use and help keep our oceans healthy.

WasteAid’s plastics recycling specialist Pierre Kamsouloum will be our inspirational resident trainer. He will share his recycling skills with unemployed youths, marginalised women and people with disabilities.

Together, we will create jobs and keep plastic out of riverbeds, the Cameroon estuary and the Atlantic Ocean.

The incredible story of Pierre Kamsouloum

Pierre used plastic waste to work his way out of poverty. Today he is WasteAid’s plastics recycling specialist, helping people in the poorest parts of the world to turn plastic into useful products. Read more.

Train a village, save the ocean

Our pilot project in the coastal village of Gunjur, the Gambia is showing signs of success. In the first two months the team recycled a million plastic bags. Read the latest update.

WasteAid on Sky News

Zoë Lenkiewicz of WasteAid and Mick Davis of Biffa were interviewed on Sky Sunrise on the launch of our aid match appeal. See our launch event.

Read more about our appeal

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