Recycled Tin Can Bicycles from Madagascar

Working with recycled aluminium tin cans is a technique called “Kapoaka” in Madagascar.

The discarded pop, beer and air freshener cans, tin cans and aerosols are individually cut, folded and soldered into their own unique shape – including model bikes and bicycles. Each intricate piece of tin is carefully soldered with precision and the constructed takes place in tiny workshops throughout Madagascar.


Wheels, pedals and handlebars are all moving parts.
These amazingly-detailed, life-like models of racer bikes and sit-up-and-beg bicycles are hand-crafted from recycled tin cans and plastic coated wire!

Each one is a unique work of art. Made with respect for the environment, the people and traditions.
This is environmentally-friendly handcrafting. Once orders are completed, they are shipped by sea from Madagascar to customers around the world.


With idyllic beaches, rain forests and parched deserts, lemurs and chameleons, Madagascar is popular with travellers looking for somewhere different.

Madagascar Island off the coast of mainland Africa

Madagascar Island off the coast of mainland Africa

The closest literal translation to the local Madagascan phrase of “mora mora” is “slowly slowly”.
Relax, take it easy, slow down, be patient – things will happen when they happen. A dramatic contrast to the hectic way of life we are used to, but once you learn to “go with the flow”, you will enjoy your experience in Madagascar even more.

Did you know?
Madagascar is the world`s 4th largest island!
It is tropical along the coast, temperate inland and arid in the south.
And its inhabitants are a melting-pot of 18 different ethnic groups – especially African, Asian and Arab.

Madagascar scenery

Madagascar scenery

With a surprisingly colourful and chaotic vibe, the capital city of 1.4 million people is Antananarivo, which is often referred to as “Tana”. The local people seem to live their lives out on the city’s streets.


Bezalila formed in 1994 and is an independent co-operative with 18 previously disparate small-scale workshops, providing Fair Trade employment to formerly impoverished artisans, particularly women, in crafts such as weaving, woodwork, bone carving, and the modelling of recycled tin cans.

With the profits generated by the sale of their crafts, the artisans have built their houses, bought rice fields and even established a pig-breeding farm!
All of which helps to diversify their income, and allows them to lift themselves out of poverty. The workshops are often mainly family businesses.

Artisan at Bezalila in Madagascar - Kapoaka

Artisan at Bezalila in Madagascar – Kapoaka

Production creates sustainable employment for hundreds of crafters and therefore helps fight poverty in one of Africa`s economically poorest and most marginalised countries.
Because this project turns metal waste to a resource, production helps alleviate an increasing problem for Madagascar – the country is lacking sufficient resources for waste handling and there is no recycling plant for metal.

Artisan from Bezalila, Madagascar

Artisan from Bezalila, Madagascar

This recycled tin can sit up bicycle model has been handmade in Madagascar by Bezalila, meaning each one is unique. Recycled tin can sit up bicycle model

“Thanks for reading my Blog post – Paul.
Have YOU ever been to Madagascar? If so, why not share your experiences using the Comments section below?” – Paul