By Paul Ndiho
A start-up firm is turning various forms of waste and natural fibers into useful products. It has quickly becoming the leading producer of environmentally-friendly paper bags in the country.
Oribags Innovation is a family-owned business and one of the leading distributors Eco-friendly paper bags in Uganda. The company recycles agricultural and paper waste – along with natural fibers – and transforms them into paper bags and other useful products that are sold in shops, hotels and supermarkets.
These colorful bags are handmade, through a low tech – zero carbon production process that emphasizes cleaner production and natural beauty. Oribags provides a better and eco-friendly alternative to the environmentally hazardous and non-biodegradable plastic bags says Rusia Orikiriza, CEO, Oribags Innovations.
“The products that we get out of this waste we make bags such as these sizes that you can see. This is Oribags mega, where in case you have a bigger gift like form a supermarket or if you have a special function and you need something tailored to your occasion. This is what we can offer you from Oribags mega.”
Oribags are diverse and can be used for a variety of uses, such as packaging bags, shopping bags, corporate marketing bags, workshop bags, gift bags and souvenirs. The bags can also be personalized to the client’s needs…
“This is how it looks so depending on if you have your brand name and what you wanted printed on the bag. For example, we put your address then if you have an e-mail address, telephone contact and the tag name that you have for your business.
Since its founding in 2008, the company has substantially expanded its presence outside the local community.
“They are people who will come they want something that is recyclable not printed on plain. For example, this is Oribags small plain. Then there are those special shoppers, people with boutiques they need something with flowers, something that is trendy, and of course with the fashion needs of the Uganda market. They want something that can freshen their eyes shout in colors.
Oribags Innovative products are not only helping the environment, but the company is helping to empower women through skills development programs.
Oribags has been recognized as a eco-friendly company by the united nations environmental program and the international union for conservation of nature. Its future in the competitive marketplace looks promising.
“We have super markets. We are in over now thirty super markets and beginning with large supermarkets like local markets whenever they grow, we grow with them. We give them to every brand. To us those are our largest markets and then we also have a hospitality sector especially hotels, whenever someone is checking out from the hotel, the person must go with a souvenir item from the hotel.”
Environmentalists have long pushed to ban plastic bags, which are cheaper for supermarkets to use than paper bags, but create mountains of trash. Especially in the capital, Kampala — where more than half of the garbage in the city is left uncollected by understaffed and underfunded city authorities. The uncollected trash often ends up in drainage channels, natural water sources, undeveloped plots and along on the roadside.
Paul Ndiho is a Ugandan – American video journalist/ executive producer, Africa Innovations & Technology based in Washington D.C with interests in innovation, technology and entrepreneurship in Africa. He is passionate about mentorship and developing the next generation of Africa’s young leaders. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook: Paul Ndiho and Twitter: @pndiho