Creating a cleaner Zanzibar

Zanzibar is a jewel in the crown of the Indian Ocean. Sitting just off the coast of Tanzania, it’s rich history, culture and world class beaches make it a fabulous place for over 400,000 tourists to explore every year. But with a lack of municipal waste management systems, plastic is a problem. On top of this, the Corona pandemic brought tourism on the island to a standstill and left many local people struggling to make ends meet.

The TUI Care Foundation and social enterprise Chako have teamed up to help create a cleaner Zanzibar. A new plastic upcycling station will collect 550,000 tonnes of plastic each year – over 20% of the plastic waste on the island.

As well as helping to tackle the waste and plastic challenges the island faces, the project will play an important role in creating jobs. It will also focus on empowering women by helping them to find employment. 50 new roles will be created at the upcycling station where local women, young people and artisans will create products made of recycled plastic to support the island’s communities.

Tourists and local community groups can take tours of the factory and make their own products, and there’s an onsite boutique and café which will have the full range of handcrafted and up-and recycled products on sale. So, there’ll also be numerous other job opportunities for kitchen staff, tour guides, drivers and handymen. And through its product sales, the workshop aims to be financially self-sustaining by the end of the three-year set-up phase.

Last but not least, an educational programme for primary and secondary schools will help the younger generation learn more about sustainability. It will be rolled out to 750 students and 50 teachers, raising awareness of the benefits of recycling and the dangers of waste being burned or ending up in the environment.



Chako means ‘yours’ in Swahili, and it is the best word to describe its products, mission and vision. Founded in Zanzibar in 2010 as a social, creative enterprise, it trains uneducated and unemployed young men and women to create handcrafted, upcycled items from waste. The aim is to empower, skill, educate, preserve the (marine) environment and contribute to the (circular) economy of this beautiful pearl in the Indian Ocean. Chako is the first guaranteed member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) in Zanzibar and a leader in promoting fair wages, working and living circumstances, next to environmental awareness through re- and upcycling on the island.

Focusing on fair wages, fair work, fair treatment, fair chances, no discrimination and a fair environment, social enterprise Chako invests all of its revenue to create more jobs, training, awareness programmes and solutions to re- and upcycle the tourism induced waste on the beautiful island of Zanzibar.


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