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Mr Green Africa — Impact Brief

Introduction

Mr Green Africa is 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 plastics waste recycling by purchasing directly from their sourcing agents or waste pickers, who are some of society’s most marginalised people. Mr Green own and operate a series of trading hubs across Nairobi and Kisumu where they transact with their sourcing agents directly to purchase their collected plastic for onward transfer to the Mr Green’s 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.

Use of GIF Funds

GIF’s investment is being used to fund additional recycling machinery, IT upgrades, team expansion, and to fund working capital. GIF’s investment will be made through the Advance Fund.

Objectives

Grow volume of plastics processed 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. Successfully scales to reach 134 trading points in Kenya by the end of 2023, collect 800 metric tonnes per year, engage a previously informal supplier network of more than 4,000 full-time sourcing agents, and reach breakeven and then operate profitably.

  1. Impact: MGA formalises the waste picker sector, using technology enabled information flow and transactions. 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.
  2. Innovation: 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.
  3. Scale: MGA collects 800 metric tonnes per year, engages a previously informal supplier network of more than 4,000 full-time Sourcing agents, and reaches both operating and cashflow breakeven
  4. Commercial: Increases revenues and margins to the point where MGA is operating profitably and can either buy back shares, pay dividends, consider acquisition offers, or scale to new markets beyond their current 5-year projections.
  5. Additionality: GIF provide capital at a relatively high-risk and decisive point for the business which not only leverages in additional capital, but acts as a values-aligned
    investor who supports MGA to stay mission-aligned throughout their growth and also advocates for a more ethical supply chain in service of deeply impacting marginalised waste pickers.

Impact to Date

In 2020, MGA recycled 1,600 metric tonnes of plastic waste for an estimated 4.8 million kg CO2 emissions saved per annum. 640 waste pickers were empowered through the MGA model in 2020.