Cycled granted support in Lagos recycling efforts

We are happy to announce that we have been awarded a grant by the Norwegian Retailer’s Environment Fund to extend our ongoing projects in Lagos, Nigeria!

Last year, our collection of post-consumer Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) in Lagos averaged at about 2.5tons per month. To progress on that, this grant will facilitate our efforts on transforming our collections to new consumer goods using small scale and low-cost recycling facilities. We call this the one-stop shop for complete PET recycling where PET is collected, processed, and converted to a new product in a single location.

The minimum investment required to setup a conventional post-consumer PET transformation factory is upwards of $10 million. This high investment cost has resulted in the low capacity of developing countries to locally transform post-consumer PET into new products. As such, the local post-consumer PET market is reliant on exports which limit income to a maximum of about $0.75 per kg, and results in a high overall carbon footprint. Our proposed decentralized solution provides a low capital barrier (estimated to be about $30k for a 100kg/day unit) to PET waste transformation. This will serve to empower low-income collectors in the local industry, with increased income (estimated at up to $5 per kg), job security, and a path to entrepreneurship.

The one-stop shop model is taking a leaf from the Precious Plastic setup developed for HDPE (bottle caps, shampoo bottles, milk bottles, freezer bags). However, due to the unique material properties of PET—high water absorption & slow crystallization — which result in diminished material properties when processed using the existing setups, a new process flow is being implemented with this project.