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Photo Courtesy of African Curators

In 2020, Matee was among the 2020 Young Champions of the Earth winners by the UNEP.

The 29-year-old inventor and entrepreneur is helping build a greener Nairobi by turning plastic waste into building blocks.

The founder of Gjenge Makers, which transforms plastic waste into durable bricks , she says their “product is almost five to seven times stronger than concrete.”

In 2017, Matee quit her job as an engineer at the Kenya’s oil industry to start Gjenge Makers. The company turns waste materials from packaging companies and recyclers to bricks. They use a machinery that they created to make a mass production of bricks.

So far, Gjenge Makers has recycled more than 20 tons of plastic waste. The bricks they created hold twice the weight threshold of concrete blocks and can come in array of colors, according to Design Boom. The startup has also generated 112 job opportunities for garbage collectors, women and youth groups.