Sustainable Ocean Alliance is proud to co-organize the Our Ocean Youth Leadership Summit (OOYLS) in Panama this coming February. We are helping to bring together an incredible group of youth from around the world to tackle the greatest challenges facing the ocean. In this series leading up to the conference, you will get to learn a bit about some of the participants! Check out SOA's blog for updates.
Meet Prince Agbata, 31, of Ghana
Prince Agbata, 31, is from Ghana. He is an award-winning social entrepreneur dedicated to innovating ways to reduce plastic waste, and his focus area at Our Ocean Youth Leadership Summit will be the sustainable blue economy.
Prince has experienced the devastation caused by thoughtless consumption and pollution firsthand, and has devoted himself to fighting it however he can. In 2015, a deadly flood struck Accra, Ghana, killing more than 200 people. The heavy rain was unable to drain due to blockages in the city's gutter systems, 90% of which was from plastic waste. While Prince survived – his best friend did not. That is why this isn't just a mission for him. It's truly his life's purpose.
In fact, Prince is the Cofounder and CEO of an incredible plastic recycling startup, Coliba. It empowers the community to take action by providing recycled shipping containers along the entire coastal line, where people can bring in plastic waste they gather while fishing to exchange for food items and cash. These recycler containers collect all forms of plastics such as HDPE, PET, LDPE, PP, and even fishing nets and car tires. The recovered plastics are then transported to Coliba's recycling eco-park, where it's fully recycled or sold to other recyclers to upcycle. The startup also donates 10% of the incentives to a community development fund to finance projects like planting trees and much-needed public toilets.
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"I am super excited and can't wait to meet with global changemakers working to make the ocean safe and sustainable each day and – more importantly – to be a part of their story," Prince says.
Prince is a 2019 Award winner of the Unilever Young Entrepreneurs Award, an Obama Foundation Leader, 2018 AUDI Scholar, and was named one of the top 40 under 40 most influential young Ghanaians. You can learn more about his work by visiting Coliba's website, or by following him on LinkedIn and Instagram.