The judging panel has identified and named 15 inspiring finalists of the Afri-Plastics Challenge: Accelerating Growth strand. The identified projects are those successfully tackling the enormous quantities of plastic pollution being produced across Africa through ingenious and community-focussed projects that have great potential to scale across the continent and beyond.”
The finalists have been selected from 30 semi-finalist teams announced in November 2021. Each has already received grants of £10,000 to grow their ideas and demonstrate their scalability in advance of judging. The 15 finalists will now receive a further £100,000 each to advance their solutions to plastic waste management.
The innovators in the running come from across sub-Saharan Africa, including Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and Togo.
The 15 solutions aim to tackle the rising tide of plastic pollution generated in sub-Saharan Africa by increasing re-use and recycling of waste plastic.
Commenting on the announcement, Harjit Sajjan, Canada’s Minister of International Development, said: “I look forward to see how each of the finalists’ projects develop and grow in the year ahead. As custodians of the longest coastline in the world, our responsibility to the health of the oceans does not stop at the edge of Canada’s waters. The global marine ecosystem is complex and deeply interconnected – plastic pollution in sub-Saharan Africa has global consequences once it enters lakes, rivers and the ocean.”
The 15 finalists of the Afri-Plastics Challenge – ‘Accelerating Growth’ strand are:
- A new life for plastic waste – recycling ocean-bound plastics in Kenya
TakaTaka Solutions (Kenya)
An end-to-end waste management company, with capabilities at every step of the value chain, from waste collection to the sale of recycled materials, allowing it to recycle 95% of the waste it collects.
To scale, it wants to expand the waste sourcing steps of the value chain (sorting facilities and buyback centres) especially in coastal areas – to allow it to reach full potential recycling volumes, empower more waste workers, and divert ocean-bound plastic from the environment.
- AMBATANA PROJECT: Scaling up plastics value chains for good
Watamu Marine Association (Kenya)
Improved and validated end-of-life plastics waste disposal, including ‘Green Stations’ of free segregation-at-source bins; buy-back collection centres for plastics with fair prices, accurate weighing and direct pay; women’s groups offering micro-enterprise/SME opportunities; Public-Private Partnerships raising effectiveness and efficiency of waste management services; ‘Take-back Bins’ for brands to raise public awareness of their recycling commitment for their post-consumer waste products, and; Service Agreements providing cleaner estates, communities, institutions and businesses.
- CareMe Bioplastics
CareMe Bioplastics (Rwanda)
CareMe Bioplastics uses a web and mobile app to decentralise plastics wastes collection and recycling. The collected plastics are processed into school benches, and other indoor and outdoor – turning the plastic waste into valuable items and reducing the need for deforestation. The digital platforms allow the end users to sell their plastics effortlessly to earn money incentives or points that could earn them a piece of furniture that lasts for decades, in turn giving community members a sense of responsibility for their waste plastic.
- Coastal Community Solar Kiosks for Plastic Collection and Emission Certificates
Chaint Afrique Academy (Ghana)
Empowering livelihoods by creating access to recycled material in coastal and Lake Volta communities in Ghana to reduce marine plastic pollution by 30% by 2030. Through access to recycling facilities, incentives and education, and access to global markets. Key features include: 50 new and permanent Community Touchpoints for collection of PETs and monofilament nylon nets; community fund and access to sustainable choices; access to 19,000 MTs of recycled material and strategic collaboration with Coliba Ghana; creating permanent and temporary jobs.
- Collecte, tri et recyclage des déchets plastiques en matériaux de construction, tables bancs et objets plastiques au Togo
Green Industry Plast – Togo/GIP-TOGO (Togo)
Present at every point in the value chain of plastic waste management, from waste collection to sorting to recycling. Households earn a living through waste collection on GIP-TOGO’s behalf with community agents charged with the collection of household wastes for disposal at dump sites as well as waste bins available at various public places. GIP-TOGO then stores, sorts, shreds, washes, dries and bags granules or shredded plastics for storage as semi-finished products and the manufacturing of new plastic products and ecological pavements.
- Construction Bricks from Recycled Plastics
Nelplast Eco Ghana Limited (Ghana)
Recycles all types of waste plastics through a polymer-sand composition and extrusion process, into “Eco Bricks” for various road paving and construction works. The Eco Bricks are waterproof, heat resistant, more durable, reusable and 30% cheaper than existing concrete and cement alternatives.
- End to End Process for plastics waste recycling in Northern Nigeria
Chanja Datti Ltd (Nigeria)
Our aim is to turn plastic recyclable waste into currency by converting collected recyclable waste into commercially viable products. It sources plastic from various sources (pickers, hotels, eateries etc). It then sorts and bails the plastic (and will begin ‘flaking’ in 2022), before selling and transporting to manufacturers.
eTrash2Cash (eT2C) Company Nigeria (Nigeria
Trash Banks that support local communities to exchange their plastic trash for cash, which they use to better their lives, e.g., healthcare access. We recycle the plastic trash into reusable raw materials/products to prevent marine pollution.
- GREENHILL RECYCLING
Greenhill Recycling (Nigeria)
Leveraging technology to provide people living in indigent communities with the opportunity to capture value from their waste while promoting healthier living. Users earn ‘Green Points’ for every plastic waste deposited, which can be redeemed for cash, health insurance, school fees, utility bills, groceries or fund to start up a micro business. Recovered plastics are sorted, pre-processed and sold as raw materials to produce polyester fibre used in the textile industry, food grade plastics, car parts and other useful products.
- Planet 3R
Planet 3R (Nigeria)
Planet 3R is a social enterprise dedicated to converting textile and plastic wastes into eco-friendly products using the 3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) to save our planet Earth by weaving them into innovative items. Planet 3R creates employment opportunities by empowering youths and women. It plans to improve the local economy through locally generated raw materials and export opportunities.
- Plastic Waste to Clean Energy
Mega Gas Alternative Energy (Kenya)
Convert unsorted waste polythene/plastics that litter the environment into clean cooking gas through a thermal cracking process of distillation and compression that creates no emissions, residue, or pollution to the environment. It serves low-income families living in rural and peri-urban areas living on under $1 a day.
RECYPLAST (Côte d’Ivoire)
PLASTOCK is a mobile app for the environment. It offers an original model for the collection of plastic waste using Plastock Boxes, or plastic waste purchasing points, installed at participating homes. Plastock aims to encourage households to get into the habit of waste separation and to encourage the local community to get involved in the movement for the sustainable and environmentally friendly management of plastic waste. Plastock rewards households that have adopted waste separation by purchasing their plastic waste, which contributes to the reduction of poverty in poor neighbourhoods.
FULL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY/FDA (DRC)
Full Development Agency, or FDA, is a social enterprise created by young people with the objective to develop sustainable solutions and a circular economy for dealing with and eradicating the threats posed by urban waste, in particular plastic waste. Waste plastic is recycled into different kinds of products, including paving tiles used to beautify lawns, parking lots, sidewalks, gardens, etc. in the city of Bukavu, DRC.
- Ramtsilo Plastic Bricks
RAMTSILO (South Africa)
Fighting youth and women unemployment through sustainable solutions by creating value from plastic waste. They produce plastic bricks that comprise of 30% inert plastic, soil and proprietary additives to ensure effective fire resistance and high durability. The bricks have the same look and feel as conventional bricks, unlike other plastic brick solutions, which entails no additional costs or learning delays when used in construction.
- Recycling Scheme for Women and Youth Empowerment (RESWAYE)
Mental and Environmental Development Initiative for Children (MEDIC) (Nigeria)
Buy-back program that empowers women and youths (above 16 years) through collection, aggregation and recycling of plastic waste. It is a solution that focuses on combating the menace of plastic pollution in the coastal areas of Lagos State with future plans to extend the solution to other coastal states in Nigeria. Its women-network recyclers on the coastline of West Africa, empowers over 2,000 women to establish sustainable incomes and improved livelihood.
From the list of finalists, 3 winners will be announced in March 2023. Here, the eventual or overall winner will be awarded £1 million, second place will be awarded £750,000; and third place will be awarded £500,000.
In addition to the 15, 25 semi-finalists in the second Afri-Plastics Challenge strand – ‘Creating Solutions’ have been named, seeking to reduce volumes of plastic being generated before they become waste.
Nesta, an innovation foundation, aims to use its expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society. Founded over 20 years ago, it works by creating change through research and experimenting, and also applying its expertise in innovation policy, health, education, government innovation and the creative economy and arts.
Within Nesta, Nesta Challenges, based in London, in the UK, exists to design and run challenge prizes that help solve pressing problems that lack solutions. We shine a spotlight where it matters and incentivise people to solve these issues.