13 distinctly African recycled objects

by EcoStreet on April 9, 2009

in EcoArt, EcoDIY, Recycling

After almost a year in South Africa, I thought that it was about time that I shared some African recycling experiences with EcoStreet readers. Not all of these recycled objects are from South Africa, some are from West and East Africa too, but they all have the flavour of the African bricoleur (one of my favourite words since discovering the wonderful Italian artist-housewife-blogger Cynthia Korzekwa who introduced me to it). “…bricolage is a technique where works are constructed from various materials available or on hand…” (from Wikipedia) Those that practice bricolage are bricoleurs. Africans are some of the best bricoleurs I’ve encountered.

recycled plastic bag football
1. The plastic bag football
“Where the world sees trash, Africa recycles. Found all over Africa, these are the balls that children create out of old trash to play soccer.” – White African


recycled soda can 2cv
2. The drink can 2CV
“Need a new car? African recycling craftwork.” – Gertrud K.


recycled coke can scooter
3. The Coke Scooter
“African recycling craftwork – Karneval der Kulturen 2006, Berlin Straßenfest” – Gertrud K.


recycled car gear dumbells
4. Old gear dumbells
“Old gears make great weights. From Ashifi in Ghana.” – White African

recycled plastic colourful beaded curtain
5. The recycled plastic beaded curtain
“Rubbish curtain.” – NeonMan
recycled plastic beaded curtain

wire African toy truck
6. The wire truck
“The truck. This is a common past-time of South African children and many African children in general. This flippin’ thing is hand created and features functional steering, wheels, flat bed and even rear-view mirrors, all out of recycled materials. Unbelievable.” – Sunshine Rabbit


recycled plastic lampshade
7. The recycled plastic lampshade


recycled tyre flower pots
8. The old tyre planters
“Old, painted tires make great flower pots. From Ashifi in Ghana.” – White African


recycled plastic bag chicken - an African icon
9. The plastic bag chicken
A true icon of African recycling creativity.
Rev. Santino


recycled plastic animal head trophies
10. The recycled plastic trophies
“Ecological trophies” – unjenesaisquoideco


recycled materials for township scene artwork
11. The recycled rubbish township scene
“African recycled art” – Vilseskogen
recycled materials make a 3d township scene

recycled scrap metal elephant
12. The scrap-metal animals
“Zimbabwean Elephant. I love recycled scrap-metal objects from Zimbabwe. Purchased these from a vendor in Grahamstown, South Africa. ” – caribbeanfreephoto
recycled warthog made from scrap metal

recycled metal in African shack home
13. The recycled home
“Informal settlement wall detail” – John Charalambous
recycled signage and wood in an informal settlement
“Informal settlement shack” – John Charalambous
recycled wood in an informal settlement
“Informal settlement window detail” – John Charalambous

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jonzie April 10, 2009 at 5:03 pm

excellent post


Wendy August 12, 2009 at 3:38 am

Love the tire idea. I have two by my driveway, they are cut with points and then turned inside out. I will try to get a picture up on my blog some. Love the other ideas too.


Owen May 10, 2010 at 5:25 am

Love the pictures. My favorite is the coke scooter, that must have taken some time and precision. If more people took up this hobby it could impact the environment in a significant way. There are certainly other more effective ways but this is a great start.
.-= Owen´s last blog ..The Recycling Bin in our Copy Room says, "White Paper Only". Is our Recycling Bin racist? =-.


Monica Valerio April 18, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Dear Eco strett
I would buy this recycled plastic bag chickens but firstly I want to know the total cost with
I live in Vicenza near Venice.
Thank for all


Alfio Torrisi May 11, 2011 at 8:31 am

Very inventive and distinctly african artifacts! great work


Leave a Comment

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: