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Kenyan inventors unveil device to scoop plastic out of rivers

  • By Grace Akinyi
  • March 26, 2021
  • 0 Comment

Nairobi and Ngong rivers flowing through Kenya’s capital provide an excellent example of heavily polluted rivers. Despite being the main sources of water for residents of low-income settlements, the rivers also serve as dumping sites for households, industrial wastes and human wastes as many homes don’t have toilets.

In a bid to offer solutions to these tropical streams, a local based startup known as Chemolex Limited, recently designed a plastic capturing device that scoops plastic out of the rivers as they drift past.

“Rivers are a major pathway for the transport of plastics into the ocean. We designed this plastic pollution capture device to help reduce the flux of plastic waste from freshwater sources and manage plastic waste at the source to ultimately clean our oceans and waterways,” says Robert Achoge, director of communications, Chemolex Limited.

The device which is powered by a four horsepower and three-phase motor, traps waste floating from the rivers using a sieve then an electrical powered conveyor system conveys all the trapped waste onto the banks where the wastes are sorted, weighed, dried and taken to their waste management facility for shredding using a plastic shredder machine ready for recycling.

“Apart from just scooping the plastics, we are also looking forward to adding value along the supply chain by recycling these plastics. We are in the final phases of constructing a plastic recycling machine that will be able to make pavement blocks from the plastic wastes that we collect,” he adds.

Plastic which continues to pose a great challenge to economies demands a stable circular economy to be a key driver for radical change in the plastic supply chain.

Consumers, governments, NGOs, manufacturers and brands need to make firm commitments to innovate and transform their plastic supply chains to achieve greater circulatory and work towards a ‘net zero’ future.

These include: Reducing plastic content and waste; plastic recycling and recovering more plastics and replacing plastic content with alternative materials.

To make innovators, and creatives visions a reality, Kenya Climate Innovation Centre in collaboration with What Design Can Do recently launched an online application that seeks to onboard both creatives and innovators who can eco-innovate solutions to prevent waste generation.

Through their ongoing social media campaigns and call for application, KCIC was able to attract startups such as Chemolex Limited who have applied for the position with the hope of qualifying and sharing their ideas and innovations towards fighting plastic pollution for a better world.

Under the #NoWasteChallenge, the application is set to run from 1st February 2021 to 21st April 2021. Designers and creatives who believe that they have the perfect innovations suited for this challenge can apply for the competition through this link: https://www.kenyacic.org/