Snapshot: sustainable soap-making in Cape Verde

Featuring Biodosa

In Cape Verde, biochemists Alex Mascarenhas and Deritson de Pina use waste cooking oil to craft their Biodosa soaps.

Operating out of their headquarters (Alex’s bedroom) in Praia on Santiago island, they collect the oil from nearby restaurants every two weeks, then begin the long process of filtering it.

Used oil usually flows unfiltered into the sea as there currently isn’t an adequate disposal system in Cape Verde. Just one litre can contaminate up to 1 million litres of water.

Self-taught from YouTube tutorials by soap manufacturers, the pair have been producing the soap for the national market since 2018.

They hand-deliver their products, preferring to eliminate the cost and environmental impact of packaging.