Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, generates more than 2,400 tons of solid waste every day, in entire Kenya this is estimated to be more than 22,000 tons of waste per day. Furthermore, the country faces challenges with poverty with 36% of Kenyans living below the poverty line, earning less than US$1.90 a day, as well as is highly exposed to deforestation with only 6% of the country’ surface covered by forest, which is being further degraded by increased demand for building materials.
Ecopost addresses all these three challenges by driving a circular economy via collecting and recycling plastic waste through a replicable and scalable model, while at the same time creating jobs for operators, plastic waste collectors, and distributors. Its solutions divert plastic waste from open burning, dumping in waterways, sewers and landfilling by creating eco-friendly alternatives to fossil-based plastics for applications like fencing, signage & building material.
A key pillar of Ecopost’s business model is to work with marginalized youth and women groups who collect, sort, shred and prepare waste material for producing pellets and plastic lumber. These women are the most important people in the recycling value chain, while at the same time they are exposed to being underpaid for the waste they collect as middlemen selling the collected waste to waste recyclers typically capture the majority of the sales margin. Ecopost formalizes the informal waste picking community and incorporates training and capacity building across the value chain to achieve impact at scale and providing a fair and regular income to waste pickers.
As Borealis and Ecopost share the same vision to stop waste leaking into the environment through the enhancement of circularity and to create a positive socio-economic and environmental impact, both companies agreed on a collaboration where Borealis will fund Ecopost’s activities to boost waste recycling in Kenya and to promote a circular economy in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Borealis supports a portfolio of similar initiatives via the Borealis Social Fund, whose aim is to contribute to the social welfare of communities by financially engaging in three focus areas, being education and social integration, water and energy, as well as waste and resource efficiency.
Borealis will specifically support capacity building, training and engaging more waste collectors, as well as formalization of their work by funding entrepreneurial start-up kits for the youth and women groups.
“We very much welcome Borealis’ support of our activities to implement the selected modules to improve the informal waste collection.”, says Lorna Rutto, CEO of Ecopost Ltd. “The funds will make a positive impact to Ecopost as well as thousands of young people and women in the marginalized areas. It will be incredibly valuable in creating a more positive socio-economic and environmental impact.”
“Mismanaged waste adversely impacts livelihoods, human health and hinders sustainable development. Partnering with Ecopost not only complements Borealis’ vision towards a circular economy, but also helps reducing socio-economic differences, a key target area of the Borealis Social Fund.”Markus Horcher, Director Sustainability & Public Affairs at Borealis AG comments.
Borealis Group media desk
Virginia Wieser, Lena Lehner
Tel: +43 1 22 400 899 (Vienna, Austria)
Ecopost Sustainable Living
Tel +254 721 953 768 (Nairobi, Kenya)
Borealis is one of the world’s leading providers of advanced and sustainable polyolefin solutions and a European front-runner in polyolefins recycling. In Europe, we are a market leader in base chemicals and fertilizers. We leverage our polymer expertise and decades of experience to offer value adding, innovative and circular material solutions for key industries such as consumer products, energy, healthcare, infrastructure and automotive.
In re-inventing essentials for sustainable living, we build on our commitment to safety, our people, innovation and technology, and performance excellence. We are accelerating the transformation to a circular economy of polyolefins and expanding our geographical footprint to better serve our customers around the globe.
With head offices in Vienna, Austria, we employ 6,900 employees and operate in over 120 countries. In 2021, we generated total sales of EUR 12.3 billion and a net profit of EUR 1,396 million. OMV, the Austria-based international oil and gas company, owns 75% of our shares, while the remaining 25% is owned by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, or ADNOC, based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). We supply services and products to customers around the globe through Borealis and two important joint ventures: Borouge (with ADNOC, headquartered in the UAE); and Baystar™ (with TotalEnergies, based in the US).
Ecopost is a social enterprise that addresses the challenges of urban waste management (plastic pollution), chronic youth unemployment, deforestation and climate change. We are committed to environmental excellence that is integrated with a business‐wide approach to sustainability.
We recycle waste plastic to manufacture into Eco-friendly plastic lumber profiles with application in numerous industries from fencing to road signage to outdoor furniture. We employ an existing technology, local labour and resources to produce an innovative product and help solve pressing socioeconomic and environmental challenges.