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Nzambi Matee’s Idea to Reduce Plastic

By Andrew Tan


The government of the East African country of Kenya is trying to reduce the amount of plastic that is being used. Unfortunately, the bans have hardly caused any progress. However, 29-year-old Nzambi Matee is transforming plastic into colorful bricks.


Even though she quit her job, it took her nine months to produce the first brick, and in addition to that, she had to convince a partner to help build machinery. But, she continued with her idea and didn’t give up. She said, “I wanted to use my education in applied physics and materials engineering to do something about the problem of plastic waste pollution. But I was very clear that the solution had to be practical, sustainable, and affordable. The best way to do this was by channeling the waste into the construction/building space and finding the most efficient and affordable material to build homes." This quote shows that she wants to use her education and put it to use to help the environment.


Her company, Gjenge Makers, now hires 112 people and produces about 1,500 bricks per day. Matee’s dream is to reduce the mountain of trash in Dandora to just a hill by speeding up the process and expanding her offerings.

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