RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 26 (Reuters) – In Rocinha, Brazil’s largest favela, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, a local project aims to promote recycling by donating food in exchange for bottle caps that they are used to build skateboards.
Each skateboard is made from about 500 colorful plastic bottle caps that are crushed, melted, placed in a mold, and then baked in an industrial pizza oven. Each takes about two hours to complete.
“They are made from 100% recycled plastic that is collected, recycled and manufactured here in Rocinha,” said Arian Rayegani, a Canadian mechanical engineer who leads the Na Laje Designs project.
The project provides food donations in exchange for bottle caps.
“We want to create a headquarters and an innovation center for recycling here in Rocinha,” said Rayegani. “Rocinha produces 230 tons of garbage per day and there is no local recycling and waste management here that really takes care of this implementation and that is what we want to do.”
“Today we work in plastic, but tomorrow we want to be able to recycle paper, metal, glass and more. We want to bring the next generation, bring children here, to learn, to prevent the problem.” (Report by Leandra Camera and Sebastian Rocandio; edited in Spanish by Janisse Huambachano)