311: Ultra-strong coloured bricks from plastic waste


Nzambi Matee majored in material science and worked as an engineer in Kenya’s oil industry. In 2017 she quit her job to start creating and testing pavers, which are a combination of plastic and sand.

Obtaining the waste material for free from packaging factories or buying it from other recyclers, through experimentation, Matee understood which plastics bind better together and then created the machinery that would allow her to mass produce them. She obtained a brick that was five to seven times stronger than concrete and could be produced in an array of colours including but not limited to red, blue, brown, and green.

In 2017, Matee opened a factory in Nairobi called Gjenge Makers Ltd. capable of producing 1,500 plastic pavers per day. The factory accepts waste that other facilities cannot process anymore and has also generated 112 job opportunities for garbage collectors, women and youth groups. To date, gjenge makers ltd. has managed to recycle more than 20 tonnes of plastic waste into paving bricks.

Discover Solution 312: Murals, pollution-eating

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