Saturday, February 06, 2021

Technology, Not Government

I've said many times--I'm a conservationist, not an environmentalist.  We should be good stewards of the environment, should not be wasteful, and should recycle where it's profitable to do so.  Government mandates to recycle--whether we're truly recycling or are just separating our garbage so it can have happy reunions in the landfill--are expensive virtue-signalling that really doesn't go good for citizens or for the environment.

What does good for both?  This:

Using her ingenuity and engineering skills, Nzambi Matee found a way to help the environment by converting plastic waste into building materials.

In 2017, Matee opened a factory in Nairobi called Gjenge Makers, where workers take plastic waste, mix it with sand, and heat it up, with the resulting brick being five to seven times stronger than concrete. The factory accepts waste that other facilities "cannot process anymore, they cannot recycle," Matee told Reuters. "That is what we get."

The bricks are made of plastic that was originally used for milk and shampoo bottles, cereal and sandwich bags, buckets, and ropes. Every day, Gjenge Makers produces about 1,500 bricks, in different sizes and colors. Matee is a materials engineer, and she designed the factory's machines after becoming sick of waiting for government officials to do something about plastic pollution. "I was tired of being on the sidelines," she told Reuters.

Since opening, Gjenge Makers has recycled 20 tons of plastic waste, and Matee plans on adding a larger production line that will allow the factory to triple its output.

Technology and creativity will beat out government silliness every time.

1 comment:

Anna A said...

Very good idea, I'm glad that she is able to make it work. Another thing that they can make, and may be very profitable are those concrete decorative pieces that you see in the garden stores.