Do-it-Yourself (DIY) Workspaces Run by Local Entrepreneurs that Transform Plastic Waste Into Valuable Water and Sanitation Products

Jan-Carel Diehl, Mathijs Stroober, Prarthana Majumdar, Annemarie Mink

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In informal urban settlements, there is an abundance of plastic waste material, which creates a range of health and environment-related problems. At the same time, there is a lack of locally produced products to improve the conditions for basic needs such as water and hygiene. As a means to connect these two challenges, we propose a distinctive solution in this paper: Do-it-Yourself (DIY) workspaces run by local entrepreneurs that transform plastic waste into valuable water and sanitation products. Our focus area during this project was the Korail slum in Dhaka. With the support of the Capability Driven Design (CDD) method, that aids design teams to systematically and comprehensively explore user contexts, we conducted an intensive field study in Korail. These insights helped us to identify fifteen product ideas, which were assessed on a range of criteria for viability. One of the worked-out solutions is a lid with vibrant colors made of recycled plastics to cover the aluminum pots used for storing water. Consequently, a lid and corresponding mould for local use with the plastic recycling machines of Precious Plastics were developed. The team also developed a business plan that is embedded in the network structure of the community and can be adopted by local entrepreneurs. The uniqueness of our approach lies in valorizing the use of local waste materials for products related to basic needs by stimulating DIY and grassroots level entrepreneurship.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2018 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC)
Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5386-5566-5
ISBN (Print)978-1-5386-5567-2
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventGHTC 2018 - 8th IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference - San Jose, United States
Duration: 18 Oct 201821 Oct 2018


ConferenceGHTC 2018 - 8th IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference
Abbreviated titleGHTC 2018
CountryUnited States
CitySan Jose
Internet address


  • Plastic Waste
  • DIY
  • Bangladesh
  • Informal Settlements
  • Water & Hygiene
  • Entrepreneurship


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