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Kenyan Startup Makes Bricks 5 Times Stronger Than Concrete Made of Plastic Trash

Nzambi Matee from Kenya has kick-started a company that makes bricks from recycled plastic. Her company, Gjenge Makers, aims to find a use for the tons of plastic waste in the capital city of Nairobi while also generating an alternative to concrete to help solve the construction shortage issue in Kenya. Matee did not only build the company from zero, but she also developed the machinery that turns plastic waste into bricks at her factory.  

Image Credit: Gjenge Makers YouTube

The process is rather simple, Gjenge Makers starts by gathering plastic made of high-density and low-density polyethylene and polypropylene plastic trash local packaging plants. This is the plastic that can usually no longer be recycled or processed and therefore it is given to her company for free.

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Once collected, the plastic polymer is heated and mixed with sand. The finished material is then pressed through a hydraulic machine to create construction bricks in a variety of shapes and colors.  

The factory employs 110 people and produces around 1,500 bricks a day, which are sold for around 7.70 USD per square meter.

Since the opening of the company in 2018, the factory has been able to reuse some 20 metric tons of plastic and is now looking to expand its manufacturing line to triple brick production. 

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