Recycling business become profitable social enterprise

Recycling business become profitable social enterprise

Improved livelihoods and sustainable businesses

PADETC’s has the proven ability to move from successful technologies and skills to economically and socially sustainable communities based on environmentally friendly and appropriate technologies.

Recycling Business

In 2002, As part of the initiative to promote waste management and recycling in Vientiane, PADETC established the Lao Chalern Recycling Center, a commercial enterprise, located 8 kilometers from the city center.

The project was initially funded by a UNDP grant to establish small scale waste management project with a focus on  on awareness raising and encouraging schools and villages to sort solid waste.  A Company from Thailand provided the manager with training.

The center collects plastic, metal scrap, waste paper and cardboard from waste collectors and itinerant waste buyers, community waste banks, and municipality waste collection crews.

  • became financially independent
  • registered as private waste management company
2013 – supporting capital investment of $1m
  • employing 5 permanent staff, up to 20 casuals
  • largest recycling centre in Laos
  • processing and exporting over 2,000 tonnes of recycled plastics and paper to China and Vietnam

Saoban Crafts

  • Since 2005 PADETC has facilitated the setting up of small businesses in rural areas and helped train and organise rural communities to produce local products to sell in the local market
  • Promotion of small and medium enterprise development for small producers, especially rural women has advanced since 2009. As a result capacities of small producers to plan, manage and produce and market quality products has improved.
  • The inclusion of micro-finance into the activities has also meant that small producers can have access to credit for business start-up or expansion.
  • The promotion of fair trade principles in village enterprises has meant that producers get a fair price for their products. This has resulted in the improvement of household income, improved social security, and better livelihoods for the producers.
  • The Saoban Crafts shop, located in the center of Vientiane, serves as a retailing outlet as well as a distributor for farmers’ products. Besides retail business, Saoban Crafts is also expanding its wholesale business to other business establishments in Laos (in Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, and Xieng Khouang) and abroad (USA, Korea, Japan).
  • Today, the producer network consists of over 300 artisans and 14 producer collectives.
  • Visit the Saoban website:

Fuel-efficient cook stoves: PADETC as a model project

  • PADETC successfully introduced the production and application of fuel-efficient stoves, which not only save rural women and girls significant time in collecting fire wood, they also produce less greenhouse gas emissions than to traditional cooking methods.
  • Family enterprises in seven provinces are now able to produce fuel efficient stoves for profit.
  • The project has been adopted by several other organisations working in Laos with very positive results.
  • While the PADETC project has closed, the project is serving as a model for an extensive EU funded project that will reach more than a 100,000 rural women in Laos over a four-year period. The project aims to establish more than 15 small and medium enterprises to produce the stoves.

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