The Challenge: Building scalable partnerships to accelerate education, literacy and skills development.
Waste management is one of the world’s foremost challenges. Over the past century, the world population has grown substantially. At the same time, the world has urbanised, industrialised, and become more affluent than ever before. Consequently, waste production has increased tenfold, and landfill sites are closing faster than previously expected.
The human population generates about 1.3 billion tonnes of waste per year, which can lead to environmental tragedies like ocean plastic pollution and toxic spills. Geopolitical tensions can also result as wealthier countries seek new places to dispose of their waste.
Globally, $205 billion USD were spent in 2010 on waste-related challenges. This figure could rise to an estimated $375 billion USD per year by 2025. It is furthermore estimated that the total generation of solid waste worldwide will have tripled by 2100.
The Lead2030 Challenge for SDG12, supported by Mondi, launched a global search for projects working towards a zero waste future. The challenge was developed in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund.
Hope Wakio Mwanake, Eco Tiles
Utilizing recycled plastic waste to produce superior, affordable and eco-friendly construction products for local builders.
Eco Tiles address the high cost of construction materials and environmental pollution caused by plastic waste in Kenya. Over 9 billion tonnes of plastic waste have been generated in the last five decades, with only about 9% recycled globally. The rest pollutes the environment, adversely affecting millions of urban dwellers.
Simultaneously, Kenya suffers from an acute housing deficit of 200,000 units annually. This has inflated the cost of construction materials, with key industry players resorting to increased importation to meet market demand.
Eco Tiles recycle locally available plastic waste into sturdy, eco-friendly construction materials for local builders. Their main product is affordable roofing tiles. Roof tiles are manufactured to the highest quality from recycled plastic and sand, producing a cheaper alternative to expensive imported roofing products and costly traditional options like clay and concrete.
To date, Eco Tiles have sold 75,000 roofing tiles, recycled about 56 tonnes of plastic waste, and created 15 jobs directly through the manufacturing process and approximately 50 additional roles for informal waste pickers within the value chain.
“I am excited and honoured to have been selected for the inaugural Lead2030 youth led innovators for SDGs. I believe young people such as myself have the potential to play a critical role in helping achieve the SDG’s but previously not many organisations were bold enough to invest in us. But finally, our chance is here.”