As part of its commitment to support Lead2030, Mondi formulated a challenge related to SDG 12 ‘Responsible Consumption and Production’ to address the issue of waste. Mondi selected Kenyan company Eco Blocks and Tiles as the challenge winner and provided them with R733,470 ($50,000) in financial investment, alongside 12 months of business coaching, to equip the company with the expertise to grow and scale the business.
Eco Blocks and Tiles, co-founded by Hope Wakio Mwanake and Kevin Mureithi, turns plastic waste into affordable roof tiles for homes. The business positively contributes to SDG12 by creating value out of plastic waste. The One Young World annual summit will take place this week in London, and Wakio Mwanake as well as colleagues from Mondi will be attending.
Mondi alongside other global businesses partnered with One Young World to launch Lead 2030 in November 2018. The initiative supports youth-led innovation to contribute to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Lead2030 aims to find, fund and accelerate solutions proposed by young innovators for each of the global goals and enable them to scale and accelerate their impact.
‘At Mondi, we believe collaboration is key in achieving the SDGs, and Eco Blocks and Tiles is an example of how scaling great ideas creates maximum positive impact. Meeting such outstanding young talent at the summit is inspiring where everyone is driving towards accelerating social impact. Wakio Mwanake has shown great tenacity and determination to change the community in which she operates and shows exceptional leadership qualities,’ said Gladys Naylor, Mondi Group head of sustainable development.
Eco Blocks and Tiles mixes plastic waste with sand to make affordable, durable and eco-friendly roofing tiles in Kenya. In 2018, its first operational year, the company sold 50,000 roofing tiles and recycled approximately 50 tonnes of plastic waste. With the funding from Mondi, the company has the potential to increase output by up to 20 times within two years.
Eco Blocks and Tiles predicts it will be recycling 1200 tonnes of plastic waste annually by 2024 – equivalent to the weight of 200 African elephants. The business has the potential to play an important role in tackling plastic waste and plans to use the financial investment and guidance from Mondi to scale and inform its long-term strategy as well as provide more secure jobs for local plastic pickers.