UNMIK staff collecting plastic bottle caps to change lives
The collection of 250 kg of recycled plastic bottle caps means a wheelchair for a disabled person in Kosovo. That may seem like a lot of caps, but the collection of UNMIK staff, together with the students of the American University of Kosovo (AUK) are sure to lead to wheelchairs.
“The Kosovo Cap Project” is the initiative of Korab Ahmeti, a third year Economics and Management student at AUK.
“My brother told me about it. His university in Turkey is doing it. So I thought why not here in Kosovo?”
Ahmeti immediately began discussions with the Turkish Embassy in Pristina and AUK’s administration, after a few months of working out logistics both were on board. It helped that he’s been a long-time member of the Charity Club at AUK whose members were behind his initiative.
“The Turkish Embassy agreed to fly the caps to Turkey and hand them over to my brother’s university; the group there will then trade them with the recycling company for wheelchairs.
Then the Turkish Embassy will fly back the wheelchairs that have been bought by the profits from the recycled plastic.” The Kosovo Cap Project was born.
Now four months in, the Charity Club at AUK has collected more than 200 kg of
caps. This is a far cry from the thousands of kilograms they require in order to get wheelchairs for the ten families that have been identified as in need but it’s a good start.
“We’re planning to expand in Pristina and all of Kosovo. Now we have some companies, government agencies, kindergartens and you, UNMIK
collecting, we’re hoping to have highschool students soon too.”
Not only does this initiative ameliorate lives, it's also eco-friendly, since plastic bottles usually end up buried under the earth or in dumpsites where they take 400 years to decompose! Throughout this process soil is contaminated by toxins in the bottles and plants can no longer grow.Groundwater is also polluted.
Inspired by this initiative, Ahmeti would like to start an NGO where waste becomes wealth and garbage becomes green once he finishes his
studies. Sustainable business and environmental friendly solutions are the future of Kosovo says the third year economics and management student. But for now he is focused on collecting as many bottle caps as possible. And so is UNMIK.
“Our goal is to fulfill the needs of all those in Kosovo who need a wheelchair.”
For more information on the project please visit: