Kibo portfolio company produces first fully recycled packaging product in Kenya

KENYA – Kibo Capital Partners (KCP) announced that its portfolio company Blowplast Limited (Blowplast), in partnership with Unilever and recycling company Mr. Green Africa, has produced Kenya’s first fully recycled packaging solution.

The packaging, produced for Unilever’s Sunlight scouring powder, is made entirely out of locally recycled plastic. The switch eliminates need for virgin plastic for this product and thus significantly reduces CO2 emissions.

“We have invested in and are committed to advancing the development of a circular economy. In addition to this initiative, we are working with several leading Kenyan consumer goods companies to increase the percentage of locally recycled packaging in their packaging.”, Sanjay Brahmbhatt, Blowplast’s MD, noted.

Mr. Green Africa recently announced that it has selected EREMA’s new INTAREMA 1108 TVEplus RegrindPro to process waste plastic.

This is an effort from the Nairobi, Kenya–based startup to combine social responsibility with the highest specification technology and cost-effectiveness.

The Institute for Polymer Materials and Testing at the Johannes Kepler University Linz carried out the material analysis in advance and specified the recycling technology required to achieve high-quality recyclate despite the level of contamination of the input material.

This led the company to select EREMA’s INTAREMA 1108 TVEplus RegrindPro with a laser filter that can process challenging post-consumer materials.

“When choosing the recycling technology, the decisive factor for us was that HDPE and PP material could be processed on the same line,” said Keiran Smith, CEO of MR. Green Africa.

“With HDPE the company collects all types of packaging, including canisters and bottles, which are often contaminated with paper labels and printing inks.”

Keiran further adds that despite different input materials and their varying quality, the startup has to meet the demands of its customers and deliver a consistent quality of recyclate output.

Unilever Africa is one of the regional buyers for the recyclate. The packaging of the new Sunlight scouring powder, launched at the beginning of the year, consists of 100 percent of material recycled by Mr. Green.

“The launch of the first truly circular plastic packaging for Sunlight scouring powder in Kenya is a great win for the environment and goes a long away in our quest to ensure that plastic only remains in our economy and stays clear of the environment,” Bruno Witvoet, president Unilever Africa, said.

Established in 2014, Mr. Green that collects and sorts systems for plastics from industrial and household waste, has shown significant interest in upgrading the waste collection system. Recently, the company has expanded its business model by recycling directly on-site at their plant in Nairobi, besides continuing to sell the washed flakes.

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