Can plastic bricks pave a road out of Kenya’s plastic waste problem?

plastic bricks

Can plastic bricks pave a road out of Kenya’s plastic waste problem?

Plastic bricks – two words that may seem unrelated at first glance but contain a remarkable story of innovation and environmental sustainability. The development of plastic bricks as a solution is a ground-breaking move toward changing Kenya’s relationship with one of the most pervasive and problematic materials of its day as the country struggles with the pervasive problems of plastic pollution.  


This innovative idea emerges at a time when waste plastic—often a blight on Kenya’s landscapes and oceans—finds new use as a sustainable building material, providing a radical answer to two urgent problems: plastic waste and the lack of affordable materials for buildings and roads. The unexpected consequences of plastic waste have made their mark on Kenya’s pristine natural beauty and communities in a country where the convenience of plastic has become troublesome.  


Despite this difficulty, an intriguing alternative has emerged, one that sees a way to turn waste plastic into a useful resource: plastic bricks.  


This innovative project not only solves Kenya’s plastic waste issue but also presents a rare chance to change how society perceives and handles plastic pollution. It represents a daring move in the direction of sustainability by giving used plastics a second chance as the foundation for a greener, cleaner future. 


Kenya is known for its beautiful landscapes and colorful culture, but the nation is currently dealing with a growing problem brought on by modernity: plastic waste. Single-use plastics are widely used, which has caused the ecosystem to deteriorate, streams to become contaminated, and landfills to overflow.  


The idea that plastic bricks could help Kenya turn its issue with plastic waste into a creative opportunity is nothing short of revolutionary. It changes the way the story of plastic pollution is told by showing how the very substance that causes environmental harm may also spur progress. Kenya aims to address both its waste crisis and its infrastructure demands in one bold move by recycling plastic waste into sturdy bricks for building roads, playgrounds, and walkways. 


Kenya is said to generate an estimated 500,000 tons of plastic waste every year war while recycling only 10% of this waste. The landfills and aquatic and terrestrial environments occupy the rest of the waste, which can take hundreds of years to break down.  


The effect of this plastic pollution is felt mostly in cities, with plastic waste congesting waterways, impacting wildlife, and damaging ecosystems. It also poses a threat to human health, with chemicals from plastic waste finding its way into the environment’s food chain. 


Plastics play a crucial role in Kenya’s economy, as a lot of it is utilized for one-time uses like packaging and bags. This has unfortunately exacerbated the environmental catastrophe by causing plastic waste to clutter the streets, rivers, and oceans, pollute the ecosystem, and endanger both human and animal health.  


 However, the nation continues to import and create plastic, increasing the amount of pollution and building mountains of plastic garbage that are produced every day. With 1,279,843 metric tons of plastic garbage produced, Kenya ranks seventh in Africa, according to Business Insider Africa. Both the business and the environment will profit from the introduction of plastic to bricks.


Nzambi Matee, a 30-year-old Kenyan engineer and inventor, is one of the people turning plastic garbage into bricks. Through her start-up, she recycles tons of plastic that would have otherwise gone to the landfill into sustainable bricks that are stronger, lighter, and more affordable than concrete. 

These environmentally friendly paving blocks, which she designed herself, are being used to line Nairobi’s sidewalks, driveways, and roads, but they may also someday be used as an alternative to traditional building materials for affordable homes. 

Her company, Gjenge Makers, produces 1,500 bricks per day from plastic waste that would otherwise be thrown into the city’s overflowing garbage bins. 


Since plastic is naturally fibrous, the distinctive manufacturing technique prevents air pockets from accumulating inside the bricks. As a result, they have more compression strength than regular paving stones, which can break under extreme pressure or prolonged exposure to the elements. With this, we can see how Kenya’s struggle against plastic waste can be paved by turning plastic waste into bricks. 


This unique strategy not only exemplifies the inventive potential of human intellect but also shows that even the most enduring environmental problems may give rise to innovative solutions that foster a robust economy.


 Plastic waste is being repurposed to create plastic bricks in Kenya, a sustainable building material that offers more than simply infrastructure advancements. They represent a revolution in how society perceives and addresses plastic pollution. Kenya’s initiative to recycle plastic garbage into sturdy bricks for road construction is proof of the tenacity and creativity of communities working toward a greener, cleaner future. 

Related Post