The Kenyan company Gjenge Makers can produce 1,500 bricks made from discarded plastic every day

Every year, 381 million tonnes of plastic waste are produced across the globe, with 150 million tonnes currently in the world’s oceans. Nzambi Matee’s innovative project highlights the environmental opportunities that can arise from taking steps to reduce plastic pollution.

It creates a movement from a linear economy, where products are used once and discarded, to a circular, where they continue to be recycled for as long as possible. In addition, the launch of a factory also generates potential job opportunities for the people of the city. Tired of waiting for the government to come up with solutions to the problem of plastic pollution in Kenya, Nzambi Matee decided to take matters into his own hands. The entrepreneur created a factory called Gjenge Makers, which recycles plastic waste into bricks that are stronger than concrete. The Nairobi-based factory has developed a prototype machine capable of producing 1,500 bricks every day, made from a mixture of different kinds of plastic.

Gjenge Makers collects the waste material free of charge from packaging factories, and pays for the plastic from other recyclers. Working with a combination of high-density polyethylene used in milk and shampoo bottles, low-density polyethylene found in sandwich and grain bags, and polypropylene used in ropes and buckets, the machine first hardens the plastic waste with sand, heats it and finally compresses it to form bricks.

Although Matee stays away from PET, which is most often found in plastic bottles, Gjenge Makers has managed to recycle more than 20 tonnes of plastic waste for paving since 2017, all of which come in a range of colors.Matee also plans to add a larger production line that can triple capacity and hopes the company starts to go in plus just before the end of this year.


Photo source: Thread Makers

Author: The editors of ecolove