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“Precious Plastic Salento”: a female led social enterprise in the field of plastic recycling


Female entrepreneurship; recycling; plastic;


"Precious Plastic Salento" is both a social project and a female-led entrepreneurial initiative in the field of artisanal plastic recycling located in Lecce, main city of Salento region. In other words, using medium-sized machinery, the team made up by three young women produce objects, furnitures, and jewellery in recycled plastic with the intention of launching an e-commerce soon. In addition to the commercial aspect linked to the production and sale of these products, they offer a series of educational workshops especially for school students on the topics of sustainable development and environmental education, which have gained success and interest. This case can be considered as a success story in an economic sector, such as manufacturing, that still sees a low presence of women, especially in the rural areas of southern Italy. It is interesting to point out that none of the three women involved in this project had any specialised technical education related to plastic recycling. However, starting from the entrepreneurial idea, they were able to independently build up the know-how needed to start a plastic recycling business. This aspect is of particular interest as it shows how the female entrepreneurial attitude, especially if properly stimulated, can overcome the initial lack of specific competences and skills relevant for the business idea.