By Tafadzwa Hove
In an interesting story making rounds online , Nzambi Matee, an entrepreneur from Kenya who is the founder and owner of Gjenge Makers, has opened an innovative company that changes plastic waste into bricks that can last longer than concrete.
Matee, a materials engineer, founded the company in the year 2018 out of frustration with what the government was doing (and not doing) with the problem of plastic pollution.
“I was tired of being on the sidelines,” she was heard telling Reuters. Matee procures the waste that cannot be recycled from recyclers for a small amount. She also procures the waste from packaging factories free of charge.
Her factory manufactures different varieties of plastic waste such as high-density polyethylene, used in milk ,bleach bottles and shampoo bottles; low-density polyethylene, often used as bags for cereals or sandwiches; and polypropylene, used for ropes, flip-top lids, and buckets; except polyethylene terephthalate or PET, commonly used for plastic bottles.
She has employed her knowledge within the field in designing machines that blend plastic waste with sand, heat it, and compress into bricks in different thickness and color. Matee boldly and proudly claims that their product is “almost five to seven times stronger than concrete” yet sustainable and affordable.
Since the time of it’s formation, her factory has recycled over 20 tonnes of plastic waste, producing 1,500 bricks each day. She said she hopes to add another bigger production line that could triple capacity.