Waste management is a global challenge despite the availability of recycling companies, and the employment of up-cycling initiatives for continuous usage. With recycling and up-cycling, waste is no longer waste. One individual that has proven that right, is Nelson Boateng, a Ghanaian entrepreneur who now builds affordable houses for people with plastic bottles.
While people drop plastic bottles after enjoying fizzy drinks or table water on the streets, Boateng picks money from the rubbish.
Boateng raised the first plastic house in Ghana using 13,400 kilos of plastic waste collected at beaches and from gutters.
Nelson Boateng’s journey
The idea for utilizing plastic waste for Boateng came as a result of the debate on the need to ban plastic in Ghana between 2015 and 2016. That was the best way the government could think of making the city free from plastic waste. But it certainly wasn’t the case for the smart guy.
“When the government was trying to say let’s ban plastic and I also heard the news that plastic is choking gutters, causing flood, deaths and other things, I also felt very bad,” he said.
He pursued this newly found dream and started a brick manufacturing company called Nelplast Eco Ghana Limited, where plastics are converted into blocks for building.
The Building Technique
With such bricks, Nelson Boateng employed a building technique in which the use of mortar is necessarily not needed. Further, he boldly assured people that the innovative bricks can be used for foundation in waterlogged areas as well as adjusting to a shift in the earth.
As people continued to question the new style, Boateng was there to answer:
On temperature, he said the bricks are designed in such a way that they provide a cool temperature.
On safety and maintenance in general, he said the bricks are made of 70% plastic and 30% natural earth making it fire-resistant with no or less maintenance needed.
Boateng’s innovative approach to building has been a motivation for many across Africa and beyond.
Don’t be surprised, when people tell you, they work from a home made of just brick 🙂
By Elijah Christopher
Elijah Christopher is a journalist at A New Touch Of Africa, is also a creative writer, a poet, and an IT enthusiast. He contributed to the collaborative poem written in celebration of Edwin Morgan Centenary, the first Glasgow poet laureate and Scottish national poet from the University of Glasgow. He loves meeting people and learning about new places, cultures, events, and lifestyles.