Today we are doing our best to recycle plastic. However, nobody has ever thought to use it as construction material. Until now!
A brick of plastic
Nzambi Matee is a 29 years-old woman from Kenya. She set up Gjenge Makers LTD, a company that manufactures bricks made of plastic. It was her who came up with the idea how tones of waste plastic can be turned into new building material. Ground plastic is mixed with sand and clay. Then it’s thermally processed. The paste formed ends up in a special machine press that forms the bricks.
The last stage is drying. The bricks are called Gjenge and they are very hard and durable
According to Matee, we make a lot of mistakes reusing the plastic like we do now
‘It’s ridiculous that we still can’t provide people with accommodation, which is one of the basic needs. Plastic is a material which is overused and misunderstood. It’s got enormous potential. However, its life after disposal could lead to disasters.’
The way she recycles plastic got a lot of publicity
Production full steam!
According to the author of the idea, plastic is not just an African problem, but it’s global. Only in Nairobi as much as 500 tones of plastic are generated every day.
Luckily, Gjenge Makers LTD works full steam and every day from 1,000 to 1,500 bricks are made.
At the moment the company supplies three kinds of bricks, depending on particular application
They could be used as paving stones for sidewalks and backyards, stronger ones could be used to build parking lots and block-bricks to build temporary buildings.
It is worth pointing out that in 2017 Kenya introduced a complete ban on manufacturing and importing plastic bags.