Climate Adaptation & Low-Carbon Housing Challenge
Nelplast retrieves waste plastics from the environment and transforms them into interlocking sand-plastic bricks and paving tiles for low-carbon affordable housing projects in low-income communities.
The solution reduces plastic waste pollution in the environment and provides affordable and sustainable low-carbon building materials for the construction of cheap but decent low-income housing that can withstand extreme weather conditions such as floods and high temperatures caused by climate change.
Nelplast retrieves all kinds of waste plastics from the environment and transforms them into interlocking bricks and paving tiles for low-cost construction projects. The waste is collected by a network of over 300 informal waste pickers, over 90% of whom are women. They deliver the waste to one of it’s plastic buy-back centers where they pay for it by the kilo. The plastic waste is then sorted, washed, shredded, and mixed with sand, and other materials. The mixer is heated at high temperatures in a sand-polymer extruder, compacted by a hydraulic press and mold into the desired shape and cooled to arrive at the final product. Nelplast’s bricks are 10x stronger than grade A concrete bricks and can be used for rapid builds with minimal use of mortar and cement. Its buildings are better insulated and better protected from water and weather damage.
420 lives affected, including 300 informal waste pickers who collect and supply waste to Nelplast for a fee, 12 customers of the solution’s home building service, and over 100 customers who have bought paving tiles.
Nelplast serves existing and potential individual homeowners, real estate developers, and private and public institutions. Its market size is reflected by Ghana's current housing deficit of 1.9 million homes. An average cost of $15,000 per home translates into a $2.5 billion real estate and construction market.
Nelplast partnership include:
- Nestle Ghana Ltd.: Nelplast recycles some of its plastic waste as part of Nestle’s drive towards responsible waste disposal and circularity.
- The National Homeownership Fund of Ghana, which operates a National Housing and Mortgage Finance Scheme to promote social equity and close the housing gap. The fund has engaged Nelplast to construct three model homes as a pilot for a larger long term contract to build hundreds of homes for them, due to Nelplast’s low price point.
- Assistance in drafting key legal agreements (investor term sheet, shareholder's/subscription agreements), and coming up with an equity structure to take on new shareholders as the company grows.
- Expertise in developing a solid financial model for the business and advice on what current and future funding rounds should look like.
- Technical review of its physical production setup to improve on efficiency, productivity (increase production capacity per day), and energy savings.
For-profit, including B-Corp or similar models