Off-Grid Plastic Recycling

The Design Challenge

Kenya is littered with waste, especially plastic, it blows around the country ruining the beautiful natural environment and harming the wildlife. There are few small-scale ways to recycle plastic especially in rural environments. In Kenya where I plan to start this project the government banned single use plastic bags. Despite this, they give no solution or recycling options for waste plastic that already litters the country. While globally there aren’t many industrial plastic recycling systems, there are even less small scale recycling systems. Industrial systems are expensive to buy, set up, and run. The product will has to work in a rural environment with no electricity while effectively recycling plastic waste.

Summary of Research

  • On average per person kenyans produce 0.03 kilos of plastic waste a day.
  • Only 9% of all plastic waste ever produced has been recycled. Roughly 12% has been incinerated.
  • Of the 4000 tons of the single use plastic bags produced each month, about 2,000 tons end up in Kenya’s municipal waste streams.
  • 260,000 tons of plastic packaging enters Kenya every year and 74,000 are lost and 47,000 are put in landfills. Only 37,000 tones go to recycling.
  • 73,299 tons of plastic is discarded of daily in kenya, 83 percent of that waste is mismanaged

Orthographic Drawings of Charcoal Version of Compressor
CAD Model of Biogas Powered Compressor
Version 1: Charcoal Powered

Process Journal

Link to Process Journal