At a time when Africa is facing massive pollution by plastics, Nelson Boateng, head of the company Nelplast, transforms plastic waste into paving stones, used for the construction of sidewalks.
Added to being innovative, the paving stones resulting from the transformation of plastic waste are sold at 1 dollar, that is 50 cents less than the ordinary paving stones. According to Nelson Boateng, the man who recycles the plastics in this way, these pavers are more resistant to wear.
For the moment, the young entrepreneur collects waste in the streets and sewers of Accra, which allows him to collect 700 tons a day, enough to make a little over 200 pavers. But he plans to accelerate collection from 700 to 10,000 or 20,000 tonnes a day over the next five years. For him, this objective will certainly be reached more quickly, especially when we know that 50 million tons of plastic and electronic waste end up in Ghana’s landfills every year, according to Geo magazine.
Nelson Boateng points out that this is the total quantity recorded. A good part litters the streets or clogs the sewers in the big Ghanaian cities. He added that Nelplast, his company, plans to recycle at least 70% of the plastics recovered and to do this, the Small and Medium Size Enterprise (SME) relies on its 30 employees.
Ghana, the third country to start producing plastic waste-based paving stones
Nelplast’s initiative allows Ghana to become the 4th African country where plastic is transformed into building material. In Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso, this experience has already had great success. In these countries, it is also used for the manufacture of certain objects such as flower pots, stools or even coffee tables.
Beyond protecting the environment, this innovation allows many Africans to survive. It is not uncommon to see women and children collecting plastic waste in the streets of Bamako to be sold to specialised companies at 50 FCFA per kg.
Jean Marie Takouleu