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    Date submitted
  • 08-Feb-2016

Transforming waste to Wealth

Abstract

We recycle plastic garbage and transform them into strong and durable plastic lumbers. Plastic lumber is an affordable alternative to timber, which reduces the need for building material manufactured from wood, helping to preserve forests and cut down on deforestation and effects of climate change. Unlike timber plastic lumbers do not rot, are termite resistant, outlast timber in application and can be cut, drilled and nailed as easily as timber.

As a green business our goal is triple fold; to recycle waste plastic and thus provide an alternative waste management solution to the plastic menace, to provide an affordable alternative to timber (To curb deforestation and reduce the effects of climate change) and to provide employment and thus a source of living to many unemployed youths.

Our Plan is for coming three years to withdraw over 1 million kilograms of plastic from the environment and use them to manufacture plastic lumber and save an estimated 250 acres of forest that would have been cut down, with the fact that plastic recycling also saves 2.5 kg CO2/kg plastic hence we will be preventing 2,500,000 kg of CO2 emissions further mitigating climate change.

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Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

Real estate developers, Advertising agencies, domestic home developers, telecommunication infrastructure contractors, road contractors, wildlife conservation agencies and farmers

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

Our Value Proposition: is to transforms plastic waste into affordable, durable and environmental friendly plastic lumber which is an alternative to expensive timber resulting to cleaner and healthier environment while reducing effects of climate change and giving better margin to our customers. We are addressing the challenges of plastic pollution, urban waste management, unemployment, deforestation and climate change. Our aim is to create a sustainable solution to the growing plastic waste menace, create an alternative to timber and create job opportunities. These Eco-friendly building materials (Plastic lumber) made from recycled plastics are ideal for fencing on farms, homes, national parks, forest reserves, construction and commercial places.

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

Solid waste management is one of the environmental challenges that many African cities are struggling to contain. As the population in most cities is growing so is the production of solid waste. In this equation, environmental friendly and sustainable measures to manage the waste are lacking. Tanzania is one of those countries caught up in this situation. Tanzania generates about 32 million plastic bags per month half of which end up in solid waste stream. We noticed that demand and price for timber posts was rising due to short supply. Up to 200,000 timber posts were sold in and around our capital city every month. If only we could produce an alternative to timber that was nearly as strong, longer lasting, cheaper and environmentally sustainable, we could profit from the lucrative timber market while helping to save Tanzania’s endangered forests. We are involved in recycling these unwanted plastic waste that are thrown everywhere littering the streets, clogging sewers and encroaching people’s homes into aesthetic, durable and environmentally friendly plastic lumber. In addition to providing a solid waste management solution for the country, we provide an alternative to timber thus saving our forests. The posts are 6 to 10 ft in length, circular, 2 – 4 inches diameter, or square, 2 – 4 inches cross-section. They do not rot, are termite resistant, outlast timber in application and can be cut, drilled and nailed as easily as timber. The posts are suitable for fencing on farms, homes, national parks, game reserves and commercial premises.

Explain how you (your team) will execute to make this idea/product successful? What gives you (your team) an advantage over others already in the market or new to this market?

The execution involves following 5 activities form the entire value chain. (1) Mobilizing unemployed and underemployed youth to collect plastic waste for resell to us enabling them to earn up to US$ 5.75/day. (2) Sorting and shredding plastics in preparation for manufacture of plastic posts. (3) Manufacture of plastic posts from a resource otherwise regarded as waste. (4) Marketing our plastic posts through various media such as internet and newspaper. (5) Distribution and retailing plastic posts through various channels such as stockiest. These activities aid in the withdrawal of as much plastic waste as possible from the environment and the subsequent manufacture and selling of plastic lumber. In the process we sustainably conserve our forest resources and rid our environment of plastic waste as well as create employment opportunities in line with our goals.