EcoAct Tanzania

EcoAct Tanzania: Recycling Plastic Waste to Manufacture Plastic Lumber

Dar es Salaam, TanzaniaDar es Salaam, Tanzania
Year Founded:
2014
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

We utilize waste plastic as a resource to manufacture eco-friendly plastic lumber. As a green business our goal is to recycle waste plastic, provide affordable alternative to timber and to provide employment unemployed youths

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

We no longer cut trees, keep our forests, and use the plastic lumber which are the best alternative from recycled plastic waste
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Tanzania faces the triple challenge of managing its municipal solid waste, conserving its forests and reducing poverty in line with its SDG commitments. The challenges we are addressing is to reduce the amount of waste in landfills, curb deforestation rates by manufacturing an alternative product to wood/timber and growing unemployment rate among youths.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Our vision is “To Transform Africa’s Waste into Wealth”. We use waste plastic as a resource to manufacture aesthetic,durable (rot and termite resistance), easy to use and environmentally friendly plastic lumber. Our aim is to create a sustainable solution to the growing plastic waste menace, provide a suitable alternative material so that we reduce the cutting down of trees and create job opportunities to reduce poverty. The plastic lumber is made from 100% recycled plastic and they range from 2 to 6 inches cross section (square/round) and 20 ft length depending on the clients need.It has various applications, it can be used as fence posts, sign posts, houses support beams, roofing trusses e.t.c

Awards

Africa Achievers Awards Nominee 2015, New York Forum Africa 2015 Top 50 Most Innovative Start-Up Companies in Africa.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Plastic Waste recycling creates a sustainable solution to the growing plastic waste menace, creates an alternative to timber and job opportunities. Below are primary activities forming the entire value chain. We sensitize and mobilize unemployed and underemployed youth and women groups to collect plastic waste for resell to us, Sorting and shredding plastics in to small pieces, Manufacture of plastic posts from a plastic waste collected, Marketing our plastic posts through different media, Distribution plastic posts through various channels such as hardware shops and local distributors.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

• By recycling plastic waste, We have provided solid waste management solution to our environment; so far we have withdrawn over 20 metric tonnes of plastic waste from the environment. • We have provided, alternative income and improved livelihoods to more than 5 employees we have and the over 25 indirect entrepreneurs we created out of our entrepreneurship efforts. These are people who collect, clean, sort and transport the plastic waste material to us for processing.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

1. We are planning to work with more youth/woman groups in plastics collection. We intend to get into contracts with these groups by guaranteeing purchase of all collected plastic. We also intend to expand collection outside Dares-salaam City. This help us collect more plastic materials. 2. We are planning to partner with stockists in various parts of the country to enable us penetrate the market by bringing plastic posts closer to customers. several firms have been identifies who are Suppliers of building materials.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Recycle Plastics waste, Manufacture and sell fencing posts to Real estate developers, Advertising agencies, domestic home developers,telecommunication infrastructure contractors, road contractors, wildlife conservation agencies,farmers and the government.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Currently, no existing plastic lumber company has established significant market share in the fencing market, leaving tremendous opportunity for us. Based on preliminary and ongoing testing data, we are yet to offer the market a better product at or below existing competitors prices (Wood & Concrete).
Team

Founding Story

In the past two year I saw a lot of campaign in the media on keeping the forest, then i reasoned out that the best way to keep the forests is to come up with an alternative product to timber, then i did several researches until when i come up with a clear idea of manufacturing plastic post using plastic waste. I presented the Idea to TonyElumelu Foundation and accepted to join the entrepreneurship program to implement my idea.

Team

Christian Mwijage, Managing Director, Passionate Recycling Entrepreneur, Business management strategist who works full time with the project, Elineca Ndowo, Project Management Graduate, Operations Manager, Ernest Richard Sales Graduate, Irene Shauli, Accounts and Administration. We also have 36 Part time workers who helps in Collection of the waste plastics.
Background
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

A friend at Tony Elumelu Foundation

Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:

Managing all day to day activities of the company

Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

No Poverty, Gender Equality, Climate Action.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

Plastic Bottles collection for recycling: we collected the plastic bottles in the streets, sort them and sell them to plastic manufacturing factories. this helped to make the environment clean as well as created a sustainable source of income to marginalized youths and women.

Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

- Tony Elumelu Foundation (http://tonyelumelufoundation.org/teep/) - Joined their entrepreneurship program for mentor-ship, training and seed funding.