Kenyan Engineer Turns Plastic Waste Into Bricks Stronger Than Concrete

February 5, 2021

A materials engineer in Kenya is producing sustainable low-cost construction materials made of recycled plastic waste and sand.

Kenyan woman turns plastic waste into bricks
Nzambi Matee / UN Environment Programme

Nzambi Matee opened a factory in Nairobi that creates bricks from plastic waste that other facilities "cannot process anymore, they cannot recycle."

Every day, the factory produces about 1,500 bricks, in different sizes and colors.

"Our product is almost five to seven times stronger than concrete," Matee told Reuters.

Kenyan woman turns plastic waste into bricks
UN Environment Programme

Matee says her factory has recycled 20 tonnes of plastic waste since its founding in 2017.

"Nzambi Matee's innovation in the construction sector highlights the economic and environmental opportunities when we move from a linear economy, where products, once used, are discarded, to a circular one, where products and materials continue in the system for as long as possible," said Soraya Smaoun, who specializes in industrial production techniques with the United Nations Environment Programme.

Watch the video below to learn more.

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