Collectively, we use a staggering quantity of single-use plastic every year—we purchase a million plastic bottles every minute all over the world—most of which results in landfills, oceans, and different pure areas. Nzambi Matee, a 29-year-old entrepreneur from Nairobi, is combatting this international disaster by recycling baggage, containers, and different waste merchandise into bricks used for patios and different building tasks.
Previous to launching her firm, Gjenge Makers, Matee labored as an information analyst and oil-industry engineer. After encountering plastic waste alongside Nairobi’s streets, she determined to give up her job and created a small lab in her mom’s yard, testing sand and plastic mixtures. Matee finally obtained a scholarship to review within the supplies lab on the College of Colorado Boulder, the place she in the end developed a prototype for the machine that now produces the textured bricks.
Made out of a mix of plastic and sand, the pavers have a melting level larger than 350°C and are extra sturdy than their concrete counterparts. Matee and her workforce supply a lot of the uncooked product from factories and recyclers, and generally it’s free, which permits the corporate to cut back the value level on the product and make it inexpensive for faculties and householders. To date, Gjenge Makers has recycled greater than 20 tons of plastic and created 112 job alternatives in the neighborhood.
“It’s absurd that we nonetheless have this downside of offering first rate shelter–a primary human want,” Matee mentioned in a statement. “Plastic is a cloth that’s misused and misunderstood. The potential is big, however its afterlife might be disastrous.”
Proper now, the corporate generates between 1,000 and 1,500 bricks per day, and Matee hopes to increase throughout Africa. You may see extra of Gjenge Makers’ manufacturing and completed tasks on Instagram. (by way of designboom)
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