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A New Use For Plastic: Entrepreneur Turns Waste Into a Way to Save Trees in Kenya

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation/Benson Rioba - March 16, 2017 in Environment, Featured

A New Use For Plastic: Entrepreneur Turns Waste Into a Way to Save Trees in Kenya
Photo: Diana Robinson/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Plastic littering the streets of Kariobangi is an eyesore for many residents. But for Aghan Oscar it spells opportunity.

Thirteen years ago, Aghan, bothered by the ever-increasing quantity of plastic waste in this low-income suburb of Nairobi, decided to find a way to recycle it.

Now his company, Continental Renewable Energy (COREC), produces poles for use in construction, farming, and road signage. So far he’s sold 96,000, and he says his potential for growth is limited only by the considerable expense of setting up plastic recycling plants.

He and others are calling on the Kenyan government to do more to support entrepreneurship for conservation.

Most of Aghan’s customers are farmers and developers who once used wooden fence poles. COREC’s solid black polythene poles are more durable and cheaper than timber, he says.

Customers say they have other benefits as well.

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