Zimbabweans Eking a Living Importing Empty Beer and Beverage Bottles for Resale

CASH-STRAPPED Zimbabweans have become more enterprising with many now importing empty beer and beverages bottles from Zambia for resale at the local beverage company.

Quarts and 1 litre bottles each cost about $0.30c

Speaking to Newzimbabwe.com at Southerton shopping centre in Harare where they were offloading the glass empty bottles, traders said they buy or pick these bottles in towns and rural villages surrounding Lusaka.

“I cannot share more information with you as people may end up joining taking business away from us,” said one bottle vendor.

But one Milton said: “What I can only tell you is we buy these empty bottles in Zambian towns and we have even established empty collection centres where people come and trade in their empty bottles.”

Vendors said they have also established a good rapport with truck drivers returning either from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania or Zambia to transport their empties and they pay so little.

“We pack our bottles into these 90kg sacks and each carry about 36 as you can see. When we get here we go to Delta and buy empty crates so that we pack our bottles in them and resale them again with the empties,” said another trader.

Milton said he has been in this business for the last 12 months and all has gone well so far as he has managed to support his family since he lost his job some three years ago.

He said: “I went to Lusaka to buy clothes for resale and I saw lots of empties being thrown into the bins. I approached Delta and they said yes they buy empties and that is how I started and business has been well.”

Milton said on average, he spends at least one month in Zambia buying and collecting empty bottles before transporting them to Harare in the 30 tonne trucks.

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