An Ethiopian green initiative, Kubik, is at the forefront of a revolution by employing recycled plastic waste as the foundation for creating building materials. This shift comes amid projections suggesting that global plastic waste production could increase fourfold to exceed 1,000 million tonnes by 2060.
OECD data underscores that developed nations will be the leading producers of plastic waste per capita. However, burgeoning regions like Africa and Asia are anticipated to surge considerably due to rapid urbanization and population growth.
While plastic pollution poses a significant threat to the environment and public health, optimism lies in the prediction that as greater volumes of plastic enter waste management systems, the rate of recycled plastic could double to 17% over the same timeframe.
Kubik, an innovative upcycling enterprise in Ethiopia and Kenya, is one such firm spearheading the transformation of plastic waste for sustainability. It’s contributing to the growth of Africa’s nascent recycling industry that only manages to salvage 4% of the continent’s waste output.
Kidus Asfaw and Penda Marre established Kubik in 2021 with an ambitious aim: to promote dignified, clean, and affordable living by providing about 250,000 square meters of wall surface area annually.
Daily, Kubik repurposes 45,000 kg of plastic waste that would otherwise end up in landfills, converting it into cost-effective building elements such as bricks, beams, columns, and jambs. Kubik’s innovative products offer a viable alternative for constructors, enabling them to build walls without resorting to conventional materusingment, aggregates, or steel.
Having recently secured $3.34 million in seed funding, Kubik intends to bolster its production of eco-friendly construction materials in Ethiopia before expanding its reach to other African nations. The recent round of funding was led by notable investors such as Plug & Play, Bestseller Foundation, GIIG Africa Fund, Satgana, Unruly Capital, Savannah Fund, African Renaissance Partners, Kazana Fund, Princeton Alumni Angels, and Andav Capital.