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Mr Green Africa

  • LocationKenya
  • SectorRecycling
  • Type of investmentEquity and debt
  • Project stageTest & Transition

A tech-enabled plastics recycling company disrupting the current informal and exploitative plastic recycling sector in Kenya. Mr Green offer an in-house end-to-end process for recycling, purchasing directly from their sourcing agents; waste pickers who are some of society’s most marginalised people. Mr Green own and operate a series of trading hubs across Nairobi where they transact with their sourcing agents directly to purchase their collected plastic for onward transfer to the MrGreen manufacturing plant. Here, the collected plastics are processed and sold as post-consumer recycled plastics to plastics manufacturers for use by large fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies, such as Unilever.

Mr Green Africa

The development problem.

Waste management is a huge issue in Africa and Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, is no exception. The city produces around 2,400 tonnes a day, of which roughly 60% is collected and only around 10% recycled.

Waste pickers collect waste and sell it on. They aren’t employed by anyone and are routinely exploited by traders who pay them very low amount or don’t buy from them at all.

The innovation.

Mr Green Africa recycles and sells ethically sourced materials with a traceable social and environmental impact. It currently engages over 2,000 previously marginalised waste collectors and sells over 2,000 metric tons fairly sourced recycled materials for local and international markets. The business seeks to formalise the plastics supply chain and create jobs, as well as relieve growing cities from plastic pollution.

GIF's investment.

$1 million equity and debt.

Mr Green is developing and building the business through GIF investment to grow their plastics processing volumes by opening further trading points, onboarding additional sourcing agents, investing in IT upgrades to run a cashless operation, running additional shifts on existing processing machinery, and investing in new machinery to increase the quality of their recycled plastics and their margins. Mr Green are already able to offer premium prices to their sourcing agents, over and above other local plastic recycling companies due to their ability to streamline the value chain and increase the end-value of the recycled materials through high-quality processing. As Mr Green continue to develop and innovate, through GIF’s investment, Mr Green expect to be able to improve their operating margins and focus explicitly on improving their engagement with sourcing agents and the employment benefits they offer.

Investment objective(s).

MGA provides reliable pricing and significant income improvement for an extremely marginalised and impoverished population, and also has a positive impact on the environment in the process. The MGA model becomes globally recognised as the model for building integrated recycling infrastructure in developing countries while formalising the millions previously living as informal waste pickers and helping to lift them out of poverty.

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