In Cuba, the third edition of “Reciclamos” and the workshops “CreArte”: a summer dedicated to plastic recycling
In August, Habitat Park was the setting for recycling activities aimed at the younger generation, but not only. A total of 35.5 kg of plastic was handed in by children, teenagers and adults from different parts of Havana, and workshops were organised on the use and reuse of plastic. Let’s discover the initiatives of 'La Mina', an all-female team committed to promoting recycling and raising awareness of environmental issues.

“Each edition of ‘Reciclamos‘ exceeds expectations. With our activities, the community of environmentally aware people grows”: with these words, the organisers of La Mina in Cuba expressed their pride in the sustainable project, now at its third year. La Mina is a local development project promoted by the Cuban Rebirth/Third Paradise embassy, Tercer Paraíso Cuba, which works to convey the message of Michelangelo Pistoletto‘s trinamic symbol: ethicality, a balance between nature and artifice, and respect for the environment: “We invite our community to promote the culture of the ‘three Rs’ – reuse, reduce, recycle – as opposed to a throwaway approach,”said the organisers.
Giving waste a second life is therefore the focus of the activities proposed by La Mina, which has dedicated the third edition of Reciclamos to plastic waste: it was collected on 2, 16 and 30 August, and then divided into the two main categories (PET – typically bottles – and other types of plastic such as packaging, toys or electric cables) for more efficient recycling. The PET plastic is destined for a recycling process generating filaments for 3D printingas part of the project Precious Plastic Habana, while a collaboration with Materias Primas Plaza de la Revolución was initiated for the recycling of the other plastic materials. The participation of institutions and organisations was led by the company Parranda, which delivered 9.5 kg of plastic.
The project was designed to address the younger generation as well as older ones. Three special prizes were awarded to children who delivered the most plastic to Habitat Park in person; seven other boys and girls, five women and a young cyclist were also honoured.


CreArte is instead the name of the workshops that involved children, teenagers and adults throughout the month of August at Habitat Park: from informative and educational inputs, they moved on to creativity, always keeping the focus on recycling and reuse. “Many families appreciated this initiative as a way to encourage children to recycle and learn through play”, said the organisers.
In the first meeting of 19 July, organised in collaboration with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Havana, project participants were able to learn what the seven types of plastic are, how to recycle this material in their city, Havana, and how some plastics cannot be recycled.
On 2 August, in cooperation with Galleria Continua, children, teenagers and adults took part in the second event, this time dedicated to art: Haciendo como Pascale Marthine Tayou. Tayou is one of the best-known African artists in the world, whose work denounces current environmental issues. “His works,” said the organisers,“create bridges of dialogue between African and European cultures with humour and colours”. The artist also makes recurrent use of recycled materials. Thus, even the plastic bottles handed in for Reciclamos on 2 August were reused to create a collective artwork inspired by Tayou’s work.


On 16 August, Habitat Park saw the return of Mi Pequespacio, an animation group workshop for children between 3 and 6 years old operating with artistic and playful tools. The focus of the activity was the stimulation of musical intelligence: using recycled plastic from the project Reciclamos, craft activities were developed to create objects useful to explore different rhythms and melodies, and to have fun and learn together.
The last day dedicated to the CreArte workshops will be 29 September and will involve civil engineers Ariel Emilio González García and Diana Alicia Toro Toro, who, as part of the project Precious Plastic Habana, will propose experiments with plastic: participants will try their hand at manipulating various types of plastic, making board games and other objects.
The organisers wanted “to thank Byrom Coto, Claudia Riverón, Ana Paula Coroas and Claudia Rivas, as well as Unicef, Galleria Continua and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Havana for their fundamental support to make these projects a success”.

Photo credits: Indiara Rivero