Zanzibar, 16 November 2020

TUI Cares for Zanzibar – plastic upcycling initiative by Chako Zanzibar and the TUI Care Foundation empowers 800 young people and women in times of crisis

  • A new initiative will provide training and income opportunities for up to 50 young people and women at a newly developed plastic upcycling station
  • Participating youth and local artisans will create products made of recycled plastic which will support the island’s communities
  • 750 local students will join an environmental education programme
  • 550,000 kilos of plastic will be collected per year – almost 20% of the plastic waste on the island of Zanzibar

The TUI Care Foundation and Chako are joining forces to create a cleaner Zanzibar – helping to protect the beautiful archipelago in the Indian Ocean, whilst fostering social and economic opportunities for its communities. Over the next three years a zero-waste plastic collection and upcycling station will be built and brought to life. At least 50 disadvantaged and unemployed young people will be offered training and income opportunities, whilst local artisans will be able to preserve their beautiful craft and live a more stable and sustainable life.

Known as the Spice Island, beautiful Zanzibar on Africa’s east coast is bursting with culture and history, alongside its idyllic white sandy beaches with palms swaying lazily in the sea breeze. All of this makes Zanzibar a fabulous place to explore. Before the pandemic hit, up to 400,000 people visited the island each year, making tourism the most important catalyst for growth on the island.

The pandemic has brought the island’s economy to an almost complete standstill. New initiatives and partnerships are needed to save jobs and create sustainable incomes for local people. Chako and the TUI Care Foundation will not only open up new opportunities for Zanzibari women and young people, it will also help to tackle the waste and plastic challenges the island faces.

At a newly established plastic upcycling station, visitors as well as local community groups will be able to experience Chako’s recycling operation, take a tour of the factory and make a product for themselves. Located between the spice farms in the heart of Zanzibar, there’s also an onsite boutique and cafe, where the full range of handcrafted and up- and recycled products will be on sale.

The initiative will expand he recycling of plastic on the island, significantly reducing the amount of waste which ends up in landfill, on the beaches or in the sea. In the spirit of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, three new product lines will be launched for visitors to purchase and support the island’s communities and their efforts to reduce waste and littering.

In addition, an educational programme for primary and secondary schools will reach out to 750 students and over 50 teachers – both onsite at the workshop and at participating schools all over the island. The goal is to raise awareness of the dangers of waste being burned or ending up in the environment and to show how waste should be handled. The outreach programme is designed to educate students about recycling, as they experience onsite how waste gets separated and prepared for production. They will also have the chance to create a new product themselves – seeing first-hand how waste can be turned into a meaningful object. The programme will encourage the students to develop the knowledge and skills they need to support their own future development.

To help local communities thrive, the initiative will offer multiple employment opportunities for tour guides, drivers, designers, waste collection groups and handy men. Through its sales of recycled and upcycled products, the workshop itself aims to become financially self-sustaining by the end of the three-year set-up phase.

About Chako & Reduce|Re-use|Relove: Recycling from plastic waste to creation

Chako means ‘yours’ in Swahili, and it is the best word to describe its products, mission and vision. Founded in Zanzibar in 2010 as a social, creative enterprise, it trains uneducated and unemployed young men and women to create handcrafted, upcycled items from waste. The aim is to empower, skill, educate, preserve the (marine) environment and contribute to the (circular) economy of this beautiful pearl in the Indian Ocean. Chako is the first guaranteed member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) in Zanzibar and a leader in promoting fair wages, working and living circumstances, next to environmental awareness through re- and upcycling on the island.

Focusing on fair wages, fair work, fair treatment, fair chances, no discrimination and a fair environment, social enterprise Chako invests all of its revenue to create more jobs, training, awareness programmes and solutions to re- and upcycle the tourism induced waste on the beautiful island of Zanzibar.

About TUI Care Foundation

Building on the potential of tourism as a force for good, the TUI Care Foundation supports and initiates partnerships and projects, which create new opportunities for the young generation and contribute to thriving communities all over the world. Connecting holidaymakers to good causes, the TUI Care Foundation fosters education and training initiatives to open up new opportunities and perspectives for young people, the protection of the natural environment in holiday destinations and sustainable livelihoods in thriving destinations where local communities can benefit even more from tourism. TUI Care Foundation works global and acts local – it builds on strong partnerships with local and international organisations to create meaningful and long lasting impact. The charitable foundation values transparency and the efficient use of funds. Therefore 100% of the donations go to destination programmes with all administration costs of the foundation covered by TUI. TUI Care Foundation was founded by TUI, the world’s leading tourism business, and is based in the Netherlands.