Kenyan plastics recycling company, Mr. Green Africa, secures funding to scale its business across Africa

Kenyan plastics recycling company, Mr. Green Africa, secures funding to scale its business across Africa

Mr. Green Africa, a Kenyan plastics recycling pioneer company, is a circular recycling business that uses a technology-driven plastics collection model.

The model enables waste collection at the source, integrating informal waste workers, micro-entrepreneurs, and consumers into a formal value chain.

The plastic recycling company has secured an undisclosed amount from the DOW-led round.

In collaboration with Unilever, Mr. Green Africa had previously secured an undisclosed amount in funding from DOB Equity, a Dutch family-backed impact investor in East Africa, and Global Innovation Fund.

It has now secured a second round in an investment round led by Dow, a leading material science company that will support MGA innovations on the plastic collection, recycling, and product development. Other investors in the round include Minderoo, Alpha Mundi Group (AMG), The BESTSELLER Foundation, DOB Equity, and Global Innovation Fund.

It works closely with brand owners to achieve sustainable packaging goals (PCR). Its mission is to transform waste into value, integrating and strengthening a localized circular economy in emerging markets.

Dow, a Michigan-based company, announced an investment into Mr. Green Africa as part of their Series B fundraising round to further divert plastic waste from informal dumpsites and the environment.

The investment is the first of its kind in Africa for Dow, which operates 106 manufacturing sites across 31 countries. The company will drive a positive change in local communities, address inadequacies in existing waste management systems, and close the loop on plastic waste across Africa.

“The challenge of plastic waste in Africa is a significant and growing problem, and as a leading materials science company, Dow is in the driver’s seat to have a measurable impact and help to close the loop on plastic waste,” says Adwoa Coleman, sustainability and advocacy manager for packaging and specialty plastics at Dow. “Across Africa, many livelihoods depend on recovering waste materials like plastic, but the benefit of this activity is only supported if there is end-value for the material.”

Mr. Green Africa says it plans to consolidate in Kenya, where it has its headquarters, and expand into other African countries to further build on its recycling efforts across the continent. This investment will help recover approximately 90 kilotons of plastic waste over four years and recycle it into new packaging applications.

The companies also aim to co-develop more traceable, fair, high-quality postconsumer resin (PCR) to produce new flexible plastic packaging to help brand owners and manufacturers achieve sustainable packaging solutions.

How Mr. Green Africa Works

Mr. Green Africa converts locally collected plastic waste into high-quality PCR, then sold as a substitute for virgin plastics. According to a news release, the investment from Dow will create approximately 200 more direct jobs and engage more than 250,000 consumers in separation and source programs.

Their partnership has resulted in the companies developing an app through which the local Kenyan communities can sort and separate plastic in their homes and schedule it to be collected and processed through the plastic recycling system by Mr. Green Africa.

Keiran Smith, CEO and co-founder of Mr. Green Africa, says the partnership will systematically change the recycling industry in Africa.

“If we want to make lasting and systemic change in solving one of the world’s biggest challenges, we need to work with like-minded and relevant value chain partners. Mr. Green Africa has been able to lay a solid foundation. However, with a vision-aligned partner like Dow, we will be able to advance towards systemically changing recycling.”

Dow says it expects to make material recovery more effective in the region. By incentivizing waste pickers with a higher, stable income through a fair-trade plastic waste sourcing model, establishing sorting centers that allow them to bring plastic waste for payment, then enabling the material to be processed in recycling centers.

Dow’s Commercial Vice President for Packaging and Specialty Plastics for EMEA says, “We’re fully committed to advancing the circular economy for plastics in Africa and the rest of the world to mitigate the negative impacts of environmental degradation in line with our global sustainability goals.