Gjenge Makers in Kenya Recycling Plastic Into Colourful Pavements

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Gjenge makers, a company comprising of four engineers in Nairobi has found a way of recycling plastic by making bricks out of single-use plastic such as bottle tops and cooking oil containers.

Kenya effected a 2017 law banning use of plastic bags in the country and a 2020 ban on using single-use plastic waste in protected areas such as beaches, National parks and forests.

Nairobi alone generates about 500 metric tonnes of plastic waste every single day and although the country can recycle a fraction of it, there is fear that we will always use more than can be recycled.

Read also: President Kenyatta Bans Single-use Plastics In Protected Areas

The new free trade deal between Kenya and the US will result in at least 500 tonnes more entering the country.

The United Nations 2018 report said that at least 13 million tonnes of plastic waste end u in the oceans every year posing a risk to the habitat as marine species ingest or become entangled in the debris causing injury and sometimes, death.

Greenpeace environmental campaigner Amos Wemanya says plastics have infiltrated everything, including what we eat.

Read: Kenya Set To Lift Ban On Plastic Papers For US Imports

“Microplastics are in our food, they are in our air, they are in our water, and they are causing health problems,” he says.

Gjenge makers project that by end of 2020, they will have recycled at least 30,000 tonnes of plastic. They use the colourful, unbreakable bricks on the pavements.

They collect plastic waste, crush them together and then compress them into brick pallets which are then used in building and construction of pavements.

An example of a driveway constructed using Gjenge bricks

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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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