Lead2030 Challenge for Goal 12

Supported by Mondi

The Challenge: Building scalable partnerships to accelerate education, literacy and skills development.

The world has a waste problem. In the previous century, the world population grew substantially. At the same time, the world was changed by urbanisation, industrialisation and increased levels of affluence. Consequently, waste production has increased tenfold and landfill sites are closing more quickly than previously expected. The human population generates about 1.3 billion tonnes of waste per year, and this can lead to environmental tragedies like ocean plastic pollution and geopolitical tensions as Western countries seek new places to dispose of their waste. Globally, US$205 billion was spent in 2010 on waste related challenges, and this figure could rise to an estimated US$375 billion 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.

The Winner

Hope Wakio Mwanake, Eco Tiles


Utilizing recycled plastic waste to produce superior, affordable and eco-friendly construction products for local builders.


Eco Tiles is addressing the high cost of construction materials in Kenya and environmental pollution caused by plastic waste. Over 9 billion tons of plastic waste has been generated in the last five decades with only about 9% of this being recycled globally. The rest pollutes the environment adversely affecting millions of urban dwellers.

At the same time, Kenya suffers from an acute annual housing deficit of 200,000 units. This has pushed the cost of construction materials with key industry players resorting to increased importation in order to meet market demand.

Eco Tiles utilizes locally available and abundant plastic waste to produce superior and eco-friendly construction materials for local builders. The first product created is affordable roofing tiles. Roof tiles are manufactured to the highest quality from recycled plastic and sand to produce a cheaper alternative to highly priced imported roofing products as well as the costly traditional options such as clay and concrete.

To date Hope’s organisation has sold 75,000 roofing tiles, recycled about 56 tonnes of plastic waste from the environment, 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.”