December 9, 2023

The amount of plastic waste generated globally is expected to three times By 2060 will exceed 1 billion tons.OECD Report Developed countries are forecast to continue to generate the most plastic waste per capita, although emerging regions such as Africa and Asia are expected to experience the fastest growth due to rapid population growth and urbanization.

Plastic pollution is said to have become a threat, changing the environment and endangering lives, but there is a silver lining The share of recycled plastic is expected to nearly double to 17% over the same period as plastics increase through waste management systems.

in Africa, cubean upcycling startup with operations in Kenya and Ethiopia, is one of the companies leading plastic waste reuse and sustainability efforts in the continent’s nascent recycling industry, which currently recycles only four percent generated waste.

The start-up turns hard-to-recycle plastic waste (polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene) into affordable building materials including bricks, columns, beams and jambs, removing 45,000kg of plastic from landfill every day Rubbish. On the back of a recently closed $3.34 million seed round, the startup now plans to double down on production of building materials in Ethiopia before expanding to other countries in Africa.

founder Kitus Ashford and Pendamar By 2021, Kubik plans to scale up production at its Ethiopian factory later this year, saying it has the capacity to build more than 250,000 square meters of wall area per year.

“For example, this could build up to 10,000 affordable housing units a year anywhere. When it comes to affordable housing, there is a global shortfall of more than 300 million housing units that are considered affordable to the poor. This is one of our There is a 2T+ market that we have the opportunity to address, and we are just getting started,” said Asfaw, CEO of the company, which won the Startup of the Year Also announced as a leading Climate Tech Startups At the VivaTech conference in Africa last week.

Investors participating in the round include Plug & Play, Bestseller Foundation, GIIG Africa Fund, Satgana, Unruly Capital, Savannah Fund, African Renaissance Partners, Kazana Fund, Princeton Alumni Angels and Andav Capital.

“We are excited to invest and partner on Kubik’s transformational journey. Their purpose-driven vision, exceptional team and unique business model – combining positive social impact, circular economy and low-carbon construction – will Kubik is positioned as a scalable and sustainable solution to Africa’s most pressing challenges,” said Climate Tech VC Satgana, – Founder Romain Diaz.

Kubik has developed interlocking building materials including bricks, columns, beams and jambs that allow developers to build walls without the need for cement, aggregates and steel. Asfaw says this does not compromise the integrity of the building and that walls built with its product are as strong as concrete walls.

Kubik’s products cost at least 40 percent less per square meter and have chemical properties that make them safe, non-flammable and non-degradable, he added. Furthermore, he said, the products are low-carbon, with greenhouse gas emissions “at least five times lower than cement-based products.”

The affordability of these materials could play a role in filling the current housing shortage, caused in part by urban population growth and high construction costs, Asfaw said. Even as global calls continue for governments to introduce policies that reduce plastic waste and encourage more circular use, the startup is pushing for change.

“The world is urbanizing very fast today and cities are feeling the effects of poorly managed plastic waste, unaffordable living conditions (especially housing) and climate change. Our company removes plastic waste from the environment through low-carbon, low-cost building solutions Plastic waste plays a role in addressing all three of these challenges. We believe this is what makes our company and our mission so exciting,” said Asfaw.

“Our products are changing the way we build sustainably and more affordablely, and we see ourselves as a company that will continue to push technology into materials used to decarbonize the built environment faster.”