What we do

We amplify data about plastic waste found in the environment.

We make it easier for environmental activists and NGOs to influence people and businesses in the plastics economy to adopt better practices and move towards a circular economy.

The number 1 is next to an illustration of a man picking up plastic bottles. He is holding a smartphone and a rubbish bag. An arrow goes from the man to the number 2. Beside the number 2 is an illustration of two orange waste collection trucks. Beside the man is the number 3. This sits over illustrations of an incineration factory, a landfill heap and the ocean. These images are crossed out with a big red cross. Another arrow goes from the man to the number 4. This is beside an illustration of a woman sitting at a desk with a computer screen. An arrow goes from her to the number 5 and points back to the waste trucks. Another arrow goes from the woman to an illustration of world map with lines connecting little pictures of people's faces. Beside this is the number 6. Another arrow goes from the map to an illustration of a large factory.
1 Collector scans and sorts bottles with our app, instantly uploading data to Wastebase.
2 Collected waste delivered to formal waste management system.
3 Plastic diverted from private burning/landfill and waterways to the ocean.
4 Data Partners link product records to brand, owner and distributor.
5 Data Partners use data to improve local waste management.
6 Global network of campaigners use data to influence plastics producers.

Visualising plastic waste

By demonstrating where their products end up in the environment, our data can help producers to understand the full lifecycle of the plastic-using products they design, make and sell.

Enhanced brand audits

Local audits clean up specific areas. More importantly, they give our partners instant data to present to local decision-makers to improve municipal waste collections and help manage waste more efficiently, diverting ocean-bound plastic into the municipal solid waste (MSW) system.

Structured data about waste

Our cloud platform connects a global network of individuals and organisations working towards a circular economy for plastic. Anyone can access, filter and extract Wastebase data to support their research or campaigns, or use our app to speed up audits in their region.

Wastebase

We launched our crowdsourced data platform in November 2020. It has now collected over 38,000 data points and over 1,100 product & brand records across 5 countries. You can see waste audit reports and information about the contribution of specific brands to plastic pollution.

This data supports global organisations to hold plastic producers to account under the principles of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).

Wastebase is the world's only platform to collect structured data about plastic waste. By connecting each product to a specific brand, owner and distributor, we can show plastics producers where their waste ends up.

Data Partners

Our Data Partners are zero waste and circular economy organisations based in sub-saharan Africa.

Data Partners enhance local waste audits using the Wastebase app. Data partners link product barcodes to information about weight, colour, plastic type and product type. This makes it easy for future collectors to scan and sort those products.

Data Partners use online tools to connect waste with the companies that own, make and distribute those products. Our enhanced data makes it easy to filter and visualise information about the lifecycle of plastic waste that ends up in the environment.

Get involved

We want to hear from anyone who is concerned about plastic waste where they live. You might be an interested citizen or someone involved in:

  • plastic recycling

  • production of plastic products

  • waste collection (formal or informal)

Visit wastebase.org to find out how you can get involved.

Install our free data collection app on your Android phone, via the Google Play Store.

NOTE: you will need to contact us at community @ unwaste.io to request a login id for the app.

Become a Data Partner

We're currently training partners in sub-Saharan Africa to become Wastebase Data Partners. Training involves a combination of field work and classroom learning. It can be done remotely. We are particularly interested in organisations working in the following countries, however we welcome all enquiries:

Kenya | Malawi | Rwanda | Uganda | Zimbabwe

contact us at community @ unwaste.io

Case study: Repensar Environmental Cooperative

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Two women wearing masks bending down to collect discarded plastic bottles. The women are wearing yellow rubber gloves. One woman is holding a black bin bag. They are in an outdoor space. There is a pile of empty plastic bottles in the foreground.

"It's so much quicker and easier when we can focus on collecting the PET waste and get the detailed information out of the system back in the office." Josela Capassura, Project Coordinator

Repensar Environmental Education Cooperative is an organization working to reduce plastic waste in the waterways around Maputo, Mozambique. Set up by local lawyer, Carlos Serra, in 2014, it started out by clearing up glass waste left on the city's beauty spots by groups of beer drinkers. Repensar shifted their focus to plastic when Carlos discovered that thousands of bottles were making their way into the mangroves and rivers that surround the city. These bottles are destined for the ocean, where it becomes almost impossible to clean them up.

unwaste.io connected with Repensar in 2020. Carlos and his team had already been carrying out local waste audits, mobilizing a group of volunteers to clean up a specific area and to raise awareness by engaging the local community and passers-by. They recorded everything that they collected, but manual data collection was time-consuming.

We worked with 6 Repensar activists to complete their Data Partner training in the spring of 2021. This involved both field based practical training and classroom learning in their office to log, extract and visualise data in Wastebase.

By the final field session, a team of 8 activists supported by 20 volunteers had collected, sorted and logged over 2,800 bottles in a 2 and a half hour session.

All of the training used Repensar's existing mid-range PCs and volunteers' own Android phones. These were typically lower end smartphones with around 1Gb of RAM. Repensar's Macaneta coordinator Adelson Mutemba said, "I use my phone for everything and probably have too many apps installed. I was surprised Wastebase worked first time."

After the training, Repensar used Wastebase to immediately build up a picture of the most commonly discarded waste by brand. While the most prominent brand was Coca-Cola, second place went to 'Fizz', a local brand of flavoured soft drinks. The 'leading' mineral water brand, Água de Nammacha (a local brand) took seventh place after six soft drinks brands.

“It was incredibly satisfying to log a bottle and see the ‘My Bottles’ counter on the app tick up,” said Josela Capassura, Repensar’s projects coordinator.


Josela managed 33 scans in her first 15 minutes of field practice. One month later, she scanned over 1,400 bottles in a single session, working with a colleague who grouped and moved the bottles as she recorded them in the app.


Now they are fully trained Wastebase Data Partners, Repensar are keen to make the most of the platform. They’ve scheduled regular weekly audits in three key locations around the Maputo area, and are preparing a graphic report for Maputo City Council. In the medium term, they’ll be developing an outreach program for school leavers.


It’s really important that we get young people thinking about waste in a different way,” said Carlos. “By changing attitudes to waste, we have the power to change our whole approach to plastics and improve the environment for the next generation.”


Repensar Mozambique

Read the full case study

community @ unwaste.io