The project collects kitchen sponges and sends them to a recycling and reuse program in São Paulo
Projeto Responja began in August 2022 as a voluntary initiative. It aims to raise the awareness of people in Brasilia of what kitchen sponges are composed of and how to dispose of and recycle them correctly. One of the project’s main goals is to emphasize the importance of recycling in reducing the environmental impact of solid waste.
Launched after discovering the work of the Programa de Reciclagem de Esponjas da instituição Scotch-Brite in partnership with TerraCycle, a company specializing in solid waste management and disposal, it is the only program in Brazil that recycles sponges.
The program encourages the proper disposal of sponges for recycling. Each shipment of sponges generates points, which are converted into donations to non-profit entities and public schools throughout Brazil.
By mobilizing the public and encouraging volunteerism, Projeto Responja disseminates this recycling program to increase the number of sponge collection locations throughout the Federal District and make it widely known that sponges are recyclable. The project encourages people to collect sponges to secure donations to improve non-profit entities and public schools throughout the Federal District.
The project currently counts on approximately fifty collection points in Brasilia, in residential blocks, condominiums, public agencies, stores, and now, School of the Nations — the first collection point to be located in an educational institution. Volunteers are working hard to increase the number of collection points through charity bazaars and social actions so that many more people can access the sponge collection sites.
Where do the sponges go?
Collected sponge materials are sent to the Scotch-Brite Sponge Recycling Program headquarters in São Paulo. They are recycled and entirely reused to manufacture new products, such as garbage cans, shovels, and traffic cones.
How can I participate?
Projeto Responja volunteers place collection boxes and ensure the sponges are delivered to Projeto Responja.
To be part of the project, access one of Responja’s communication channels, such as Instagram (@responjabr_) or WhatsApp (61 3548-5055) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them you are interested. The Responja profile on Instagram explains how you can help.
Community members take part in the Projeto Responja
Ms. Tamar Luz is a parent in the Nations community and has been a project volunteer for two years. Her testimony follows.
“Besides the enormous joy derived from reducing the number of sponges disposed of improperly into the environment, not to mention the gains in the social area, what’s special about being part of Responja is the people who, like me, believe in the transformative power of small actions. Volunteering is a wonderful experience. We receive so much more than we give. We become better people. School of the Nations is the first collection point established in an educational institution, and it makes a lot of sense. In alignment with the school’s values, members of Nations’ school community recognize themselves as agents of social transformation.”