A young recycling company, Mr. Green Africa, is bringing social, economic and environmental benefits to the region in which it operates, paying waste pickers to collect plastic waste and supporting the local community.
Now the company has added an Erema Engineering Recycling Maschinen und Anlagen GmbH Intarema 1108 TVEplus RegrindPro that is allowing it to not only sell washed flakes, but recycle directly on site at the plant in Nairobi.
CEO Keiran Smith said Mr. Green Africa needed a system that could process both high density polyethylene and polypropylene.
"With HDPE we collect all types of packaging, including canisters and bottles, which are often contaminated with paper labels and printing inks," Smith said in a news release. "Despite different input materials and their varying quality, we have to meet the demands of our customers and deliver a consistent quality of recyclate output."
Mr. Green Africa opened in 2014 and it now has more than 100 permanent employees and works with 2,000 waste pickers.
By upgrading the waste collection activities, the company aims in the future to enable the many pickers to receive fair and stable wages.
The pickers are the "invisible heroes who have languished at the bottom of the waste hierarchy for too long," the company said, and Mr. Green Africa allows them to interact directly with the company.
Global consumer brand company Unilever's Africa branch is one of the company's first regional customers. The packaging for Unilever Africa's Sunlight scouring powder is set to be switched to 100 percent recyclate from Mr. Green Africa. The new 500-gram and 1-kilogram packs are sold in Kenya and rest of the region. According to Unilever, the move will mitigate the use of thousands of tons of virgin plastic each year, once the transition is completed to the recycled material.