School shoes made from IV drips bags

Southern Basadi Multipurpose Cooperative can make one pair of shoes from 20 IV bags.

School shoes
By Lisa Witepski

This innovative recycling initiative has made it possible for more than 36 000 disadvantaged school children in Gauteng to stop walking to school barefoot, giving them the dignity, they deserve.

 

The Gauteng based Cooperative is run by four directors that are passionate about bringing positive change to lives of children that can’t afford school shoes.

 

Delores Mackenzie, one of the Directors explained that they collect and sort drips from Netcare hospitals; the used and uncontaminated drip bags are then cleaned.

 

The drip bags are made from polyvinyl chloride popularly known as PVC which is a high strength thermoplastic material.

 

“The PVC bag is then granulated into recycled material that is moulded into shoes by a non-profit organisation called My Walk with Soul,” said Delores

 

The shoes are purchased by external cooperatives before getting donated to children. Each pair of shoes costs only R35.  

 

“Once a child no longer needs them or has outgrown them, the material can be re-granulated and smelted again to make a new pair of durable and waterproof shoes,” she said.

 

Delores and her team are proud of what they have accomplished through their Southern Basadi Multipurpose Cooperative together with My Walk with Soul.

 

“It always makes us smile to know that there is a child out there who has gained a new pair of shoes. We love knowing that we are improving children’s lives and making them happy,” she said.

 

Given her team’s enthusiasm, she is confident that they can help many more children.

 

Even though the cooperative initially went through many challenges, things changed for the better when they were approached by the City of Joburg to take part in a recycling project.

 

The Directors of the cooperative grabbed the opportunity and they registered as a waste management company on the City of Joburg database.

 

From there, they were invited to take part in a hospital recycling project which involved collecting used IV drips.

After they completed training, they were awarded with a bakkie and space to operate in. The team completed more training so that they could be further upskilled in waste and project management.

 

Southern Basadi’s output is remarkable: in January and February this year, the team recycled 2 314kg of PVC from drips.

 

Delores and her team would like to see the cooperative taking on more work. This will only be possible if they get more space to work, along with a second bakkie or a trailer so that they could use to transport more PVC bags.

 

Given her teams determination and focus, it’s certain that it’s only a matter of time until their wish becoming a reality.

 

This article was first published in SowetanLive

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