Eco-bricks, the right recycle to empowerment

Cape Town businesswoman Sarah Goldstein encourages women to turn waste into value­.

Juggling a busy schedule at her business, The Nut Man in Salt River, she recently started an eco-brick programme.

They collect and recycle bottles and plastics to make eco-bricks.

The programme started with Goldstein empowering her employees. She says anyone can make eco-bricks using information available online.

“Everyone can be part of the eco-brick project. I believe in the starfish philosophy – one person making a difference, no matter how small, makes a difference in the universe. If we all just make a small difference we can effect big changes for the better.”

She says no skill is needed to make an eco-brick, just a willingness to make a difference in the world.

She says currently they work with more than five women from Athlone, Samora Machel, Gugulethu and Khayelitsha.

Goldstein says the idea was inspired by the recent campaigns about avoiding the use of plastic bags, which became popular during the month of July.

“Our brand new project that I am personally passionate about is the eco-brick. It came about in the last few weeks when there was so much media coverage on Plastic-Free July. I then found out about the eco-bricks and decided to try it out at home. My family immediately took it on. At the factory it is a little more time consuming, so we have started by collecting the bottles and the plastic separately and will be having bottle-filling sessions weekly.”

Her business produces handmade coated nuts in copper pots, which are supplied to major supermarkets, including Shoprite Checkers, which has made it possible for her to continue the good work.

Goldstein is not new to the journey of empowering women. Over the years, she says she has used her business to equip and make sure women from different backgrounds are able to sustain themselves­.

“The majority of the women that come and work with us have no prior experience. We teach them to cook, and manage their work quota, hygiene systems, quality control methods and how to work in a team.”

One of the women involved in the eco-brick business is Nomasabatha Hlakaza from Samora Machel.

Hlakaza says when she heard about the new programme she could not understand how they were going to make these eco-bricks, but now she is excited about it.

“It is about turning litter into a valuable and these bricks can be used at home.”

She says if all goes well she would like to take the skill and turn it into a business and create the opportunity to empower more women.

Lunga Schoeman of the Shoprite Group says Shoprite helps entrepreneurs overcome one of their major obstacles and gain access to the market by sourcing from local suppliers like Sarah Goldstein. He says the success of entrepreneurs, as well as small and medium businesses, is essential for economic growth and job creation in South Africa.

Pinelands businesswoman Sarah Goldstein encourages women to turn waste into value. Juggling a busy schedule at her business, The Nut Man in Salt River, she recently started an eco-brick programme.

They collect and recycle bottles and plastics to make eco-bricks.

The programme started with Goldstein empowering her employees. She says anyone can make eco-bricks using information available online.

“Everyone can be part of the eco-brick project. I believe in the starfish philosophy – one person making a difference, no matter how small, makes a difference in the universe. If we all just make a small difference we can effect big changes for the better.”

She says no skill is needed to make an eco-brick, just a willingness to make a difference in the world.

Goldstein says the idea was inspired by the recent campaigns about avoiding the use of plastic bags, which became popular during the month of July.

“Our brand new project that I am personally passionate about is the eco-brick. It came about in the last few weeks when there was so much media coverage on Plastic-Free July. I then found out about the eco-bricks and decided to try it out at home. My family immediately took it on. At the factory it is a little more time consuming, so we have started by collecting the bottles and the plastic separately and will be having bottle-filling sessions weekly.”

She says currently they work with more than five women from Athlone, Samora Machel, Gugulethu and Khayelitsha.

Goldstein is not new on the journey of empowering women. Over the years, she says she has used her business to equip and make sure women from different backgrounds are able to sustain themselves.

“The majority of the women that come and work with us have no prior experience. We teach them to cook, and manage their work quota, hygiene systems, quality control methods and how to work in a team.”

Her business produces handmade coated nuts in copper pots, which are supplied to major supermarkets, including Shoprite Checkers, which has made it possible for her to continue the good work.

One of the women involved in the eco-brick business is Nomasabatha Hlakaza from Samora Machel.

Hlakaza says when she heard about the new programme she could not understand how they were going to make these eco-bricks, but now she is excited about it.

“It is about turning litter into a valuable and these bricks can be used at home.”

She says if all goes well she would like to take the skill and turn it into a business and create the opportunity to empower more women.

Lunga Schoeman of the Shoprite Group says Shoprite helps entrepreneurs overcome one of their major obstacles and gain access to the market by sourcing from local suppliers like Sarah Goldstein. He says the success of entrepreneurs, as well as small and medium businesses, is essential for economic growth and job creation in South Africa­.

Pinelands businesswoman Sarah Goldstein encourages women to turn waste into value.

Juggling a busy schedule at her business, The Nut Man in Salt River, she recently started an eco-brick programme. They collect and recycle bottles and plastics to make eco-bricks. The programme started with Goldstein empowering her employees. She says anyone can make eco-bricks using information available online.

“Everyone can be part of the eco-brick project. I believe in the starfish philosophy – one person making a difference, no matter how small, makes a difference in the universe. If we all just make a small difference we can effect big changes for the better.”

She says no skill is needed to make an eco-brick, just a willingness to make a difference in the world.

Goldstein says the idea was inspired by the recent campaigns about avoiding the use of plastic bags, which became popular during the month of July.

“Our brand new project that I am personally passionate about is the eco-brick. It came about in the last few weeks when there was so much media coverage on Plastic-Free July. I then found out about the eco-bricks and decided to try it out at home. My family immediately took it on. At the factory it is a little more time consuming, so we have started by collecting the bottles and the plastic separately and will be having bottle-filling sessions weekly.”

She says currently they work with more than five women from Athlone, Samora Machel, Gugulethu and Khayelitsha.

Goldstein is not new on the journey of empowering women. Over the years, she says she has used her business to equip and make sure women from different backgrounds are able to sustain themselves.

“The majority of the women that come and work with us have no prior experience. We teach them to cook, and manage their work quota, hygiene systems, quality control methods and how to work in a team.”

Her business produces handmade coated nuts in copper pots, which are supplied to major supermarkets, including Shoprite Checkers, which has made it possible for her to continue the good work.

One of the women involved in the eco-brick business is Nomasabatha Hlakaza from Samora Machel.

Hlakaza says when she heard about the new programme she could not understand how they were going to make these eco-bricks, but now she is excited about it.

“It is about turning litter into a valuable and these bricks can be used at home.”

She says if all goes well she would like to take the skill and turn it into a business and create the opportunity to empower more women.

Lunga Schoeman of the Shoprite Group says Shoprite helps entrepreneurs overcome one of their major obstacles and gain access to the market by sourcing from local suppliers like Sarah Goldstein. He says the success of entrepreneurs, as well as small and medium businesses, is essential for economic growth and job creation­.