In Africa, Kubik, an upcycling startup with operations in Kenya and Ethiopia, is among the companies that are leading plastic waste reuse and sustainability efforts in the continent’s nascent recycling sector, which currently salvages only 4% of the waste produced.

The startup turns hard-to-recycle plastic waste (polyethylene, polypropylene, and polystyrene) into affordable building materials, removing 45,000 kg of plastic waste from landfills every day. The startup is now planning to double down on the production of building materials in Ethiopia before scaling to other countries within Africa, against the backdrop of a recently closed $3.34 million seed funding round.

Kubik develops interlocking building materials, which include bricks, columns, beams and jambs, allowing developers to erect walls without the need for cement, aggregates, and steel. Asfaw says this does not compromise the building’s integrity and that the strength of walls built with its products is at par with cement-based walls.