No Plastic Waste19 Jan 2022

Minderoo Foundation invests in innovative recycler to accelerate a circular economy for plastics in Africa

Mr. Green Africa aims to realise sustainable, long-term social, environmental and economic impact through the collection, conversion and selling of post-consumer plastic waste.

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Photo Credit: Mr. Green Africa.

Minderoo Foundation has invested in Mr. Green Trading Africa (Kenya) Limited (MGA), the first recycling company in Africa to be a Certified B Corporation. MGA aims to close the loop on plastic waste across Africa by diverting plastic waste from the environment, creating employment opportunities and addressing inadequacies in existing plastic waste management systems.

Minderoo Foundation’s commitment is part of a major funding boost from impact-driven investors and key industry stakeholders to scale the Kenya-based plastics recycling pioneer across the continent. MGA expects to, during the period 2022-2025:

  • Recover and recycle approximately 70 kilotons (kt) of plastic waste
  • Create approximately 200 more direct jobs
  • Improve the working conditions of 5,000 waste pickers
  • Engage more than 250,000 consumers in separation at source programs

MGA converts locally collected plastic waste into high-quality PCR (Post Consumer Recyclates) which is then sold as a substitute for imported fossil-fuel-based plastics to help close the loop on plastic waste.

By incentivising waste pickers with a higher and more stable income through a fair-trade plastic waste sourcing model, establishing sorting centres that allow them to bring plastic waste in for payment, and then enabling this waste to be processed in recycling centres, MGA is expected to make material recovery significantly more effective in the region.

CEO of Minderoo Foundation’s No Plastic Waste initiative, Dr Ramesh Ramachandran, said the investment – made through Minderoo Foundation’s Strategic Impact Fund – is a reflection of Minderoo’s commitment to make investments that will enable and promote ethical plastic waste collection efforts across the world.

“The combination of efficient recycling and a growing market for the finished product that Mr. Green Africa produces, makes this an attractive investment for us,” Dr Ramachandran said.

CEO and co-founder of MGA, Keiran Smith, welcomed the investment.

“We are delighted to bring together and align such diverse groups of partners and investors to join this journey of Mr. Green Africa,” Mr. Smith said.

“It’s a testament to the authenticity of the vision and purpose of what the company and its people stand for.”

MGA supporters include some of the leading pioneers in the plastics industry, philanthropy and impact investors, including:

  1. Minderoo Foundation, which in addition to its investment will support MGA in its impact journey through Minderoo’s No Plastic Waste and Walk Free initiatives. In particular, there will be a focus on improving the livelihoods of informal waste pickers and making them part of the MGA supply chain in a sustainable way.
  2. DOW, a leading material science company, which will support MGA innovations on plastic collection and recycling and product development, with a focus on flexible packaging feedstock.
  3. AlphaMundi Group (AMG), a Swiss impact investing manager specialising in small enterprise finance in emerging markets. AMG has a regional office in Nairobi and is investing through its AlphaJiri Investment Fund (AJIF).
  4. The BESTSELLER Foundation, a circular economy focused impact investor that helps innovators tackle the biggest challenges of our time.
  5. DOB Equity, a leading Dutch family-backed impact investor in East Africa.
  6. Global Innovation Fund, a non-profit innovation fund headquartered in London that invests in the development, rigorous testing, and scaling of innovations targeted at improving the lives of the world’s poorest people.
Minderoo Foundation
by Minderoo Foundation

Established by Andrew and Nicola Forrest in 2001, we are a modern philanthropic organisation seeking to break down barriers, innovate and drive positive, lasting change. Minderoo Foundation is proudly Australian, with eight key initiatives spanning from ocean research and ending slavery, to collaboration in cancer and community projects.

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