Cheap plastic products being manufactured in backyard workshops have invaded the market, as people vie for alternative goods.
Colman Street in Harare’s Graniteside industrial area was yesterday a hive of activity as people from as far as Bulawayo and Buhera stood in long queues waiting for their turn to buy cheap plastic ware from the many different producers dotted around the area.
The cheap plastic products range from kitchenware, packaging, washing utensils, rain coats and shoes.
The plastic goods are sold from the front of buildings, whose backyards are used as the manufacturing workshops.
The products are made using plastic waste collected from residential areas and smuggled plastic manufacturing raw materials.
The products are being solely priced in US dollars, with most hoarding them for resale in rural areas and other small towns across the country. This plastic business is said to be behind the upsurge in vandalism of most plastic equipment such as council bins in towns, as they are vandalised to be sold as scrap to these plastic products producers.
Most buyers said the business had become lucrative, as they were earning a living from it.
“I’m making a living out of these plastic products,” said Mrs Elina Kachinga from Buhera. “I buy a washing bucket for 8 US cents and resell for as much as US$4 or for bucket of maize in the rural areas. With those prices, I am able to break even at the end of the day.’’
Another buyer, Mr Abraham Tongoyeva from Bulawayo, said he had already opened a retail shop in Bulawayo. Nevertheless, some buyers said the products were cheap, but not durable.
“These products are cheap but not durable, if one doesn’t handle them with care they wont last for long, that is the problem we have been having for long with these products,” said another buyer, Mr Tinashe Wadi.–herald.co.zw