By 2060, the quantity of plastic waste generated globally is expected to quadruple to more than 1,000 million tonnes. According to OECD, developed countries will continue to produce the most plastic waste per person, while emerging regions like Africa and Asia are predicted to have the most significant growth because of their rapid urbanization and population expansion.
As we know, plastic pollution is already a problem that is allegedly harming the environment and putting people in danger, but there is some cause for optimism because it is predicted that as more plastic enters waste management systems, the percentage of recycled plastic will almost double to 17% during the same period.
Kubik, an upcycling startup with operations in Kenya and Ethiopia, is one of the firms driving efforts to repurpose plastic waste and promote sustainability in Africa's developing recycling industry, which presently recovers only 4% of the continent's waste production.
Founded in 2021 by Kidus Asfaw and Penda Marre, Kubik has a mission to build dignity through clean and affordable living for all, with a quarter million square meters of wall surface area every year.
The startup diverts 45,000 kg of plastic waste each day from landfills by turning difficult-to-recycle plastic waste into reasonably priced building components like bricks, columns, beams, and jambs. Kubik's created components enable builders to construct walls without using cement, aggregates, or steel.
With a $3.34 million seed funding round, recently closed, the startup is now planning to double down on the production of building materials in Ethiopia before scaling to other countries within Africa led by Plug & Play, Bestseller Foundation, GIIG Africa Fund, Satgana, Unruly Capital, Savannah Fund, African Renaissance Partners, Kazana Fund, Princeton Alumni Angels, and Andav Capital.
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