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. 

The TUI Care Foundation and social enterprise Chako have teamed up to help create a cleaner Zanzibar. So far, already 5,100 kg of plastics and 1.8 million kg of glass waste has been upcycled. The new plastic upcycling station collects 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 plays an important role in creating jobs. It also focuses on empowering women by helping them to find employment. 50 new roles are 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 has 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 project phase.

Last but not least, an educational programme for primary and secondary schools helps the younger generation learn more about sustainability. So far, over 300 students have already been reached to raise 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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