“Mr. Green Africa is a Nairobi-based recycling start-up whose vision is to change people’s perceptions towards waste equals value. This small company incorporates the concept of shared value—creating economic value while addressing social and environmental challenges—into its core, by harnessing the untapped potential of an existing informal waste management industry.
Mr. Green Africa sells pre-processed recycling materials with a traceable social and environmental impact.”
Resource Recovery is using wastes as input materials to create valuable new products. Mr. Green Africa is creating a new model of resource recovery and the circular economy that combines advanced technologies, social impact and fair trade products to create a true circular economy solution.
The Mr. Green Africa Innovative Resource Recovery / Circular Economy Model
In a way, you can think of Mr. Green Africa as the Uber of waste collection. The company has 110 direct employees that run the business and recycle the plastic waste into a usable raw material for manufacturing. They also partner with over 2,500 “waste pickers’ providing fair and stable pay to collect discarded plastic that would otherwise end up in a landfill or be left in the environment.
Prior to February 2020, Mr. Green Africa produced washed ground plastic flakes for others to turn into usable products. As of February 2020, they have expanded their capabilities to turn the post-consumer recovered plastic waste into high-quality plastic pellets, suitable for direct feed into plastics injection molding equipment to make new products.
Mr. Green Africa Technology Investment to Produce 100% Recycled Plastic Pellets for Injection Molding
Reprocessing a range of post-consumer recovered plastics into a usable feed product
The Institute for Polymer Materials and Testing at the Johannes Kepler University Linz carried out material analysis in advance to specify the recycling technology needed to achieve high quality recyclate despite the level of contamination of the input material. In the end they chose to go with the EREMA INTAREMA® 1108 TVEplus® RegrindPro® with laser filter system, which specializes in processing challenging post consumer materials.
"When choosing the recycling technology, the decisive factor for us was that HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) and PP (Polypropylene) material can be processed on the same line. With HDPE we collect all types of packaging, including canisters and bottles, which are often contaminated with paper labels and printing inks.
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," explains Mr. Green Africa CEO Keiran Smith.
Video Courtesy KUTV Kenya
Unilever East Africa has launched its first 100% post-consumer recycled plastic package for it’s Sunlight Scouring powder using Mr. Green Africa recycled pellets.
Bruno Witvoet, Unilever Africa President said; “At Unilever we want to decouple our growth from our environmental footprint. Today marks a great milestone in our circular economy journey. The launch of the first truly circular plastic packaging for Sunlight scouring powder in Kenya is a great win for the environment and goes a long way in our quest to ensure that plastic only remains in our economy and stays clear of the environment.”
Unilever has established a goal of halving its use of virgin plastic by reducing its use by 100,000 tons and is committed to 100% of its plastic packaging is reusable, recylable or compostable by 2025 and to be using at least 25% recycled plastic in its packaging by that year as well.
Following their initial discussions it was clear to EREMA Group CEO Manfred Hackl that EREMA definitely wanted supply technology to Mr. Green Africa. "Keiran Smith and Karim Debabe captivated me with their business idea from the very first second. As far as I know, setting up a company with such an effective social impact is unique in the plastics recycling sector and could serve as a model for other regions," says Hackl.