Getting To Know The People and Ideas behind C-Propre

As we dive deeper into this series we wanted to further introduce you to C-Propre. We are personally big fans of their work and their overall mission and wanted to share their initiative with you. We interviewed co-founder Ghislain de Castries and learn more about C-Propre’s launch, their mission and their vision for the future.

1.     Tell me about C-Propre (background and mission)?

CPropre is a Franco-Ivorian startup launched in 2019 with the support of MTN. Our aim is to optimize the first mile of the waste value chain in Africa. In most capital cities, only 50% of the waste are collected and 90% of the first mile are made by informal sector. With a prepaid collection offer payable by mobile money,  we would like to improve the quality of the service and ensure a proper disposal for every type of waste (recyclables and non-recyclables)

2.     How did you get involved in Ghana?

We are working in Ghana thanks to Dow Chemical, one of the founding members of the Ghana Recycling Initiative from Private Enterprise (Gripe). They invited us to Accra in 2019 to study the replication of the project launched in Abidjan.

We discovered a favorable context, much more open to innovation and change. Above all, we have seen a very strong and powerful dynamic to end plastic pollution that comes from all parts of society.  There is a real desire to tackle the problem, from residents of lower-income neighborhoods to politics and the municipalities, including businesses, schools or churches. Intermediate bodies like undp or gripe forge and structure this common dynamic. Behaviors are very different from the Ivory Coast where this challenge constitute more a sum of individual behaviors rather than a collective dynamic. The road is still long but seeing the daily implication of the schoolers involved in our program is really inspiring and constitute a real source of motivation! 

3.     Tell me about the start of SESA.

The launch was greatly facilitated by the Asase foundation, which provided us with resources and valuable advice.  We are very grateful because a good partnership is something very important when you start an activity. 

We launch SESA as a pilot-project and we are now scaling up the activity. The concept is simple. Every kilo of recyclables dropped in our collection points can be swapped for money, goods or services. We are convinced that the ‘reward for recycling scheme’ is the best solution to develop the sorting of waste in African cities. But we are also convinced that this cannot be financially sustainable without the support of brands that are also highly concerned by the end-life of their products.

4.     What are you plans for SESA in the future?

We are actively working on the development of waste management offer for businesses and plan to open new collection points for residents.

5.     Do you hope to spread across Ghana?

Yes! We are working on the development of co-branded offers to swap recyclables for products and working to propose even more innovative services. When you understand that waste has a value, you can use it as a medium for many applications, like paying utility bill with sorted plastics or a micro-health insurance with beverage cans!

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