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In Cambodia, innovative upcycling turns discarded plastic bottles into sturdy brooms, combating pollution and waste.

In the bustling heart of Cambodia's capital, an innovative entrepreneur, Has Kea, has sparked a remarkable environmental transformation. Kea's venture in a modest warehouse sees him and his workers converting tonnes of discarded plastic bottles into durable brooms, an initiative that not only cleans up the city but also addresses its mounting plastic waste dilemma. Each day, this team manages to produce 500 brooms by meticulously spinning waste plastic bottles into bristles, a testament to their dedication and craftsmanship.

Over the last 11 months, approximately 40 tonnes of plastic bottles have been upcycled, translating to about 5,000 bottles daily. These brooms, retailing between $2.50 and $3.75, offer a more robust alternative to traditional brushes. The process involves collecting plastic strips, softening them in hot water, slicing them evenly, and then attaching them to bamboo sticks with metal wires—a meticulous process that showcases their commitment to sustainability.

For the past 11 months they have transformed around 40 tonnes of discarded plastic bottles, about 5,000 bottles per day, by "upcycling" them into brooms they say are more robust than regular brushes.

This initiative not only offers a practical solution to the waste produced by the city, which amounts to around 38,000 tonnes daily, with a significant portion being single-use plastics, but also contributes to the local economy. According to US News, Kea purchases the empty bottles from trash collectors and garbage depots, ensuring a steady supply for his business while encouraging the collection and recycling of plastic waste. This effort not only aids in reducing pollution but also provides a source of income for those involved in the collection process.

The durability and quality of these brooms have been recognized by customers, including a local Buddhist monk, Suon Kosal, who praised their solidity and resilience. Kea's openness to competition reflects a broader vision of environmental stewardship and community welfare, highlighting the potential for upcycling to make a tangible difference in the fight against plastic pollution. Through this innovative approach, Kea is not just cleaning streets but also paving the way for a cleaner, more sustainable future in Cambodia.

Eunice is a sustainability writer whose passion is sharing accessible eco-friendly practices with GreenCitizen's global readership. She enjoys birdwatching during her downtime, often deriving inspiration from nature's resilience. An enthusiastic cyclist, she is also an ardent advocate of eco-friendly transport.

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