Glass upcycling programme gives a ray of hope to underprivileged women

Impactlution's upcycling glass program has given Mas, from Taman Dato Harun in Petaling Jaya, an opportunity to earn and improve her life. — Photos: MOHD FAISAL ABDUR RANI

This story is part of a series of articles featuring past Star Golden Hearts Award winners. Nominations are now open for this year’s award. Uplift your heroes by nominating them at before July 31, 2023.

Star Golden Hearts Award nominations are open now until July 31, 2023.Star Golden Hearts Award nominations are open now until July 31, 2023.Women from Taman Dato Harun, Petaling Jaya, have found a ray of hope in a glass upcycling programme, part of the Waste to Wealth initiative by social enterprise Impactlution.

The programme has given homemakers like Mas Nor Faradayazie Ab Aziz, 33, an opportunity to earn much-needed income and improve her finances.

“In the last six months, the project has generated about RM7,500, divided among community members who are actively involved in it.

“I am happy because I can earn money through hard work. Earning extra money has become increasingly important, especially with the rising cost of essentials like housing, food and education,” said Mas.

The innovative glass upcycling programme involves transforming glass bottles into sand, which is then made into eco-friendly concrete products like planter pots, trays and holders under GlazCraft.

Mas is among a handful of underprivileged women who have benefitted from joining the upcycling project. She says it has also contributed to the sustainable development of her community.

“We are gradually becoming aware of the significance of recycling in our lives. Discarded glass bottles have the potential to generate income. It is crucial for us to care for the environment by recycling materials like paper, food items, glass and plastic bottles, among others. By doing so, we help reduce pollution and create a cleaner environment.”

Impactful solutions

Impactlution was co-founded by Star Golden Hearts Award (SGHA) 2019 award winner Mohd Faisal Abdur Rani, 38.

Mohd Faisal is no stranger to environmental activism. He is the volunteer leader of Pertubuhan Generasi Peduli Sampah Malaysia – a movement that bring communities together to clean and reduce waste – and has extended his support to various environmental initiatives.

'The recognitions we receive remind us of what we are fighting for and what we have to do to create a better planet,' says Mohd Faisal.'The recognitions we receive remind us of what we are fighting for and what we have to do to create a better planet,' says Mohd Faisal.“At Impactlution, we still continue on with our cleanup programme called Jom Tip Pah (Jom Kutip Sampah) where we educate our corporate partners and general public on littering. We conduct clean-up sessions in the city, neighbourhoods, rivers and beaches.

“We also educate corporate clients on how certain things can be recycled through a waste audit process (a system used to calculate the amount of waste generated by an organisation),” said Mersing-born Mohd Faisal.

In addition, Impactlution organises mangrove and forest conservation programmes to educate Malaysians on sustainability and climate change.

With the upcycling glass project, Mohd Faisal is helping to mitigate environmental issues and conserve resources.

“The GlazCraft project intends to provide a market for upcycling glass products and to create demands for the use of glass sand, which can generate income for the underprivileged.

“It is our hope that the marginalised communities can eventually become entrepreneurs.”

The glass upcycling programme and the Waste to Wealth initiative stand as shining examples of how small steps can lead to significant changes.

By empowering underprivileged women and promoting sustainable practices, these initiatives help both the environment and the lives of those in need. As more people join the cause, there is hope for a greener and more equitable future for all. – By Sheela Chandran

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