Dow, a materials science company, has invested in Mr. Green Africa, a recycling company in Africa, to make it  a Certified B Corporation. The investment aims to enable further diversion of plastic waste from informal dumpsites and the environment, address inadequacies in existing waste management systems and close the loop on plastics waste across Africa.

This investment marks the first of its kind from Dow in Africa, and expects to enable approximately 90 kilotons (kt) of plastic waste to be recovered over 4 years and recycled into new packaging applications. With the support from Dow and other investors, Mr. Green Africa plans to expand its operations in Kenya where it is headquartered and in other countries in Africa. This will further extend the capabilities of its recycling efforts across the continent.

At full scale, the investment is expected to create approximately 200 more direct jobs, impact the lives of 5,000 waste pickers and engage more than 250,000 consumers in separation at source programs. Mr. Green Africa converts locally collected plastic waste into high-quality PCR (Post Consumer Recyclates) which is then sold as a substitute for imported virgin plastics to help to close the loop on plastic waste. Alongside Dow, Mr. Green Africa works closely with brand owners and third-party plastics manufacturers to access ethically sourced, locally produced PCR, and support companies in meeting their sustainability targets.

Marco Bruggencate, Dow’s Commercial Vice President for Packaging and Specialty Plastics for EMEA said, “Our partnership with Mr. Green Africa is testament to our commitment to play our part in solving the plastics waste issue in Africa, where waste collection and sorting is a real challenge. We are delighted to announce this milestone in our continued collaboration with Mr. Green Africa, which will enable us to have an even greater impact on diverting plastic waste from landfill and giving this valuable material a second life.”

By incentivizing waste pickers with a higher, stable income, the partnership is expected to make material recovery significantly more effective in the region. Dow has also supported the development of an app through which local communities in Kenya can sort and separate the plastic waste in their homes more efficiently. Through the app, plastic waste is scheduled for collection and processed through the plastic recycling system by Mr. Green Africa.