Paige: Understanding the context for a solution

Paige Balcom was visiting Uganda as a Fulbright Scholar when she became fascinated by the challenges of life in Gulu. When economic forces there conspired to trap millions of plastic bottles in the nation’s ecosystem without any local options for recycling,

Paige, then a Ph.D. student at UC Berkeley, decided to dedicate her research to developing a small-scale, community recycling process, a feat that nearly everyone, except her Ugandan co-founder Peter, said would be physically impossible. By employing street-connected, at-risk youth, Paige and her Takataka Plastics recycling team, are now turning waste into construction materials and providing a path for local youth to remain employed while working toward sustainability.

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