Abidjan, Ivory Coast

Circulaire Abidjan

Abidjan, Ivory Coast, is home to 4.5 million people that generate around 1.25 million tons of waste a year. Our project, Circulaire Abidjan or Circular Abidjan, aims to make collecting that waste accessible, while creating value for the community.

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Abidjan, Ivory Coast: Meet Yaya Kone (right) and Genesis Ehimegbe (left), entrepreneurs who are driven to be the change they want to see in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

Abidjan, Ivory Coast: Meet Yaya Kone (right) and Genesis Ehimegbe (left), entrepreneurs who are driven to be the change they want to see in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

Overview

COLIBA was one of the applicants from our Plastic Waste Free Cities request for proposal, where we sought out solutions to help cities better manage their plastic waste and implement circular systems. Together, we developed Circulaire Abidjan, where we are supporting them scale their collection of plastic waste by setting around 60 COLIBA containers and 50 collection boxes in TotalEnergies stations around Abidjan, the capital city of the Ivory Coast.

Location

Abidjan, Ivory Coast

Local Partner

COLIBA

Plastic Waste Diversion Target

Around 60 COLIBA containers and 50 collection boxes set up by end-2022

Making a difference can begin anywhere

The journey of our partner COLIBA started with a bus ride. Having just left his job as a literature professor, Yaya Kone was in pursuit of a new career in entrepreneurship. The real challenge was deciding on the issue to tackle.

That’s when he saw it.

Out the windows of the bus from his journey from Ivory Coast to Ghana, mounds of waste littering the roads and blocking streets. 

He had found his problem—tackling waste management.

Together with Genesis Ehimegbe, they run COLIBA, a startup that is introducing a new model of plastic waste collection in the Ivory Coast.

“Supporting startups like COLIBA is an important tenet of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste’s beliefs. When we invest in solutions, we don’t just consider the technical aspects, but whether founders have the passion to drive change. COLIBA founders, Yaya and Genesis, have shown that they’re driven by something more than just achieving numbers—they want to see real change in Abidjan, and we want to help support them in making this dream a reality.”

Philippe Montagne, Chief Advisor, Project Implementation, EMEA

How they’re making a difference

How it works is easy—informal waste pickers or individuals can drop off plastic waste like PET, HDPE, and PP into manned containers in exchange for credit on their app. The plastic is then processed into flakes and sold on to recyclers, giving the waste a new lease of life.

With the support of the Alliance, COLIBA aims to scale up collection of plastic waste by increasing the number of disposal points for the community. As of September 2021, they have installed 20 collection boxes and 14 containers around the city.

COLIBA’s work doesn’t just stop at collection. With their Protect a Planet education programme, they go into schools to teach kids about the plastic waste problem and the importance of fostering good habits like sorting plastic waste for recycling from a young age by installing bins in schools.

Abidjan, Ivory Coast: With the goal of reaching 14,000 tons of plastic waste collected and processed by 2026, more collection boxes and containers will continue to be installed in the city.