Dow, a sustainable materials science company, has made an investment in Mr. Green Africa, a recycling company, to be a Certified B Corporation. The certification is expected to enable further diversion of plastic waste from informal dumpsites and the environment and close the loop on plastics waste across Africa.
The investment is further expected to enable the recovery of approximately 90 kilotons (kt) of plastic waste 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 its headquarters in Kenya, as well as in other countries in Africa. This will further extend the capabilities of its recycling efforts across the continent.
In addition, Dow and Mr. Green Africa also aim to co-develop more traceable, fair, high-quality post-consumer recyclate (PCR) that can be used in the production of new flexible plastic packaging. This will help brand owners and other plastic manufacturers achieve their goals towards sustainable packaging solutions in Africa.
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. The company 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.
Commenting on the partnership investment, Marco ten 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.
On his part, Keiran Smith, CEO and co-founder of Mr. Green Africa added, “If we want to make lasting and systemic change in solving one of the world’s biggest challenges; plastics waste, we need to work with like-minded and relevant value chain partners. Mr. Green Africa has been able to lay a solid foundation. However, with a vision aligned partner like Dow, we will be able to advance towards changing recycling in a systematic way.”