The Plastic-to-Ghar Project
The University of Cambridge, Impact Hub Kathmandu and Field Ready UK have teamed up to establish an innovation and business support ecosystem to incubate new and emerging businesses working to provide solutions that address plastics wastes, transforming these into durable, long-lasting housing products in Nepal. The innovation system is locally-led and informed by local challenges, offering solutions to the plastic waste problem and climate crisis while improving the living conditions of the marginalized highland residents. The high-altitude village homes in Nepal lack plastic recycling facilities and often suffer from a cold climate in need of better insulation. Beneficiaries are actively involved in design processes to ensure that items made are responsive to their most essential needs and realize them in real-world businesses. The Plastic to Ghar (P2G) Hub convenes local entrepreneurs and innovators to co-create innovative housing solutions and incubates these into start-ups and franchises, resulting in the establishment of small-scale plastic upcycling production units in various regions across Nepal. By franchising the small-scale remanufacturing unit near the target customers, the project provides short-distance, affordable, selfsufficient product supply runs, enabling the locals to overcome the inherent logistics challenges due to the mountainous topography in Nepal.
After two successful Makethons, the team continues with innovation development and prototyping of the respective innovation ideas, and with the business incubation programme of the six successful incubees . A total 2 rounds of masterclasses and 21 coaching sessions with six teams were conducted.
There will be ongoing exploration of the local construction sector by making visits to locations in the Himalayan Belt and connecting to the key individuals at the government and communities as well as collecting empirical data. Key knowledge products are planned in the form of full papers/ abstracts/ presentations for three conferences (International Conference on Cleaner Production, Vancouver; International Conference on Sustainable Development, NYC; Fab Bhutan (Bhutan).