23 Oct Plastic Desert: Keeping Plastic Out of Our Seas + Employing Locals
In Lobitos, Peru and throughout the world we can see how plastic is taking over and contaminating everything around us. Single use plastic is almost uncontrollable. Here in Lobitos, we see plastic bags decorate the desert landscape, from the outskirts of the city, walking the streets to the beaches. These bags are a threat to life on earth and our oceans and their numbers are incalculable.
Here at WAVES Lobitos, to prevent our communities’ plastic bags from becoming part of the existing “plastic soup”, we’ve helped relaunch the project, Plastic Desert, which was first created by the Soul Surfers Foundation and a Dutch couple, Julian and Saskia, who taught women how to weave bags here in Lobitos. Plastic Desert strives to give plastic a second life while offering jobs for the local population of Lobitos. The team currently consists of five weavers and three seamstresses, all inhabitants of the fishing village, Primavera.
Each bag carries hours of hard work and creativity. Our team at WAVES Lobitos first collects the plastic bags from their homes, offices, hotels, and business. The team of locals then wash, dry, and cut the bags to be used in the loom as plastic string and woven into beautiful patterned mats. Our seamstresses add the finishing touches to the bags delivering a high quality, one of a kind product that is totally recyclable!
Let’s support each of these families and help the environment by keeping plastic bags out of our landscape. Our dream at WAVES Lobitos: That the bags are known all over the world and we continue to strengthen and grow our community to rise up against plastic pollution together. Hopefully through sales and awareness, Plastic Desert will continue to grow, expanding our team of weavers and designers so we can generate more jobs for the people of Lobitos and heighten consciousness regarding plastic pollution.
How YOU can help us to reach our goal:
If you are in Peru:
Please collect your plastic bags and donate them to our team to be created into up-cycled products. You can drop them off or ship your bags to our WAVES office in Nuevo Lobitos. Please contact us for the address. If you know any business interested in selling our bags in their stores or coming to volunteer in Lobitos, let us know! We would be happy to collaborate.
If you are elsewhere:
We are currently looking for partners to team up with and help market and sell our bags. If you are interested in promoting a community project that employs and empowers locals while helping keep our oceans clean, please contact us.
Other ways to help:
Come join us as a volunteer in Lobitos! You can join in our community programs like English class, surf and swim classes, kid’s clubs, environmental programs and beach clean ups while helping our Plastic Desert team with their project and learning to surf.
If you would like to donate to WAVES, specifically Plastic Desert, you can donate to our programs here.
Thanks to Kike, the director of WAVES Lobitos, and Emily Rathmanner, our Outreach Coordinator, for helping craft this blog post. A special shout out to Ryan Struck for the amazing photos and our team in Lobitos for creating such an amazing product. Plastic Desert Project is a project created by Soul Surfers Foundation, currently administered by WAVES Lobitos.