A young female entrepreneur from Nairobi, Kenya, does her part to fight the global crisis that is single-use plastic by recycling plastic objects and transforming them into textured bricks more durable than concrete ones.
“It is absurd that we still have this problem of providing decent shelter–a basic human need,” says Znambi Matee, 29, founder of Gjenge Makers. “Plastic is a material that is misused and misunderstood. The potential is enormous, but its afterlife can be disastrous.”
Each of the 1,000 to 1,500 bricks generated daily is made from a combination of plastic and sand, and since the company gets its supply from factories and recyclers – sometimes for free – it can lower the prices so the product is affordable for schools and homeowners. So far, Gjenge Makers has created 112 jobs, recycled 20 tons of plastic, and hopes to expand its activity across Africa.