Solution Overview & Team Lead Details

Our Organization


What is the name of your solution?

Polymer sand-technology

Provide a one-line summary of your solution.

We have ventured a polymer sand-technology to help customers to have access to affordable and quality Eco-bricks for the construction activities

Film your elevator pitch.

What specific problem are you solving?

Rapid urban migration has led to increasingly unmanageable solid waste level in Dar es salaam, Tanzania. Dar es Salaam is one of the largest and most populous coastal cities in Africa and is estimated to generate  4,600 tons per day of solid waste whereby 80% are plastic waste  , with a projected increase to 12,000 tons per day by 2025 (Ayo E., 2019) .The south Africa development community (SADC) describe waste management as pressing issues for the public health and safety and currently faces the main challenge which are high volumes of waste ,low capacity to manage and high costs involved in management as a result of local government inability to effectively tackle issues much of the waste management across the region has privatized which has led limited success in some areas and worsening conditions

 Fast urbanization is also increasing the portion of the population affected by gap housing a term that describes the shortfall or gap in the market between residential unit by private sector household that cannot afford basic formal houses  and end settling up in slums and surrounding township these group are essentially poor

What is your solution?

Arena Recycling Industry is a social business that committed to offer Eco-friendly building materials made from recycled plastic waste for construction of houses, pit latrines, water tanks and septic tanks, we ventured a polymer-sand technology to combat the environmental mitigation caused by plastic pollution while fabricating building materials to alleviate the poor sanitation and hygiene


The process involves collection of plastic waste by organizing campaign for beach clean-up around marine areas, we educate and promote the change of behavior in waste disposal, by involving community recyclers into logistic and improve their income by repeatedly buying collected plastic waste, the collected plastic waste is then sorted according to plastic waste composition (density), recycled and mixed with sand to produce strong bricks.


The whole process is path by The Polymer-sand Technology that made in the process of the uniform mixture of the main components (filler + polymer as a binder) observing the set temperature, which results in coating of each particle of the filler with polymeric binder. Being molded and hardened the polymer-sand mass forms a high strength homogeneous solid compound (Eco-Bricks)

Polymer-sand technology is analogous technology to plastic-to-Eco-friendly building materials. Its aim at transforming post-consumer and post-industrial plastic waste into useful non-plastic products (i.e. Eco bricks and pavement blocks).


Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?

Our solution serves the environment by reducing quantum of plastic waste, saves a lot of animal species crucial to the food chain

Meanwhile our solution helps the environment by diverting ocean, bound plastics, reducing greenhouse gases, carbon footprint and limiting energy consumption.

On the other hand, our solution serves marginalized and low-income communities to have access to affordable Eco-friendly building material for their construction projects

 To date we have been able to recycle more than 200 tons of plastic waste, we have partnered with Young Water Solution and Us Embassy In Tanzania for serving more than 500 students through constructing of Eco-sanitation toilets and water tanks by using Eco-bricks made from recycled plastic waste at karume , Buza and kiburugwa primary schools located at Temeke District in Dar es salaam, through this project more than 70% of students are having access to quality water and sanitation facility.

How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

We are self-motivated team who willing to go above and beyond any project, we have ability to find niches within a group and support everyone efforts, we always able to recognize each and every one skills and delegate that fit to each person skills.

My team and I involve communities in our solution by doing community mobilization and organize community events like beach clean ups this is a great opportunity to demonstrate openness and transparency to stakeholders also to deliver information about our solution and gather feedback.

 Also, we do online and offline survey and questionnaires to identify community and customers opinion about our solution and product, Community are engaged and they play a meaningful role in the deliberation, discussion, decision making and implementation of a certain project in this way we are increasing the live hood that the solution will be widely accepted, community who participate in these processes show significant commitment to help the project happen

Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Enable mass production of inexpensive and low-carbon housing, including changes to design, materials, and construction methods.

Where our solution team is headquartered or located:

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Our solution's stage of development:


How many people does your solution currently serve?


Why are you applying to Solve?

We are looking forward to have flexibility skills at working place that will emphasizes the target vision of our business these includes, financial management and project management

We are also looking to add conflict management skills this will help to solve conflict in effectively manner, communicating clearly, empathetically and patiently leads to favorable outcomes and keeps professional relationship stronger.

 we are looking to add Audit committees, these will be responsible for ensuring that the company’s financial statements and reports are accurate and use fair and reasonable estimates alongside with Quality, safety, environmental manager this person will be responsible for handling Occupational Safety and healthy compliance, monitoring product quality and training of employees in each of these areas and filling all necessary monthly and yearly report

In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

Financial (e.g. improving accounting practices, pitching to investors)

Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

Hellena Sailas

More About Your Solution

What makes your solution innovative?

We offer affordable building materials (Eco-bricks) made out of plastic waste for construction of houses, toilets, water tanks and other buildings. The composition of Eco-bricks consist of 80% plastics waste, 20% sand, 0% water and 0% cement .This is Unlike to our competitors, Our competitors use cement for the production and construction ,cement is very expensive mostly of low income they can’t afford to build sanitation facility  ,our Eco-bricks use plastic waste as a binding materials mixed  with sand that makes our product to be more stronger and affordable than our competitors the added value of mixing with sand is to make our product to looks similar like the concrete bricks but also sand used as fire resistance compound ,the  product are enhancing the appearance of property and provides protection against the climatic condition least but not last our product have been extensively tested to provide the highest quality of Eco-brick with an infinite life and is prestigious appearance

Beside the construction sector is a key contributor to economic growth across Africa. Demand for low-income houses is increasing across Africa due to rapid urbanization. The total number urban residents on the continent is predicted to reach 1.2 billion by 2050, with an average of 4.5 million people expected to relocate to informal settlements each year (Parby et al., 2015). The UN estimates that 200 million people in Africa will live in slums by 2025

Our Solution’s main strengths lie in its unique value proposition as a new product offering. A simple product design translates to time and cost savings in the production process and lower prices for the consumer. The product also generates a strong image of economic, social, and environmental responsibility

What are your impact goals for the next year and the next five years, and how will you achieve them?

Arena is three years records and outcomes to date have been a successful model for combating extreme plastic waste problem in the local community meanwhile   helping the community to access affordable Eco-friendly building materials.

 Building on this success and recognizing the strong demand for our solution and service, Arena Recycling has developed five years strategic growth plan to expand its model and its impact by scaling deep (expanding its capacity in current operation) and scaling widely (expanding current service to additional locations)

 Specifically, Arena Recycling plans to expands its capacity by opening and launching 10 plastic collection centers nearby beaches areas arounds Dar es salaam, Tanzania and 5 plastic waste collection center point in Dar Es salaam regions this will ensure the availability of materials and protect the ocean and environment free from plastic waste

 Arena Recycling plans expand its operation in 2023 to 2024 by increasing its production capacity from 200 bricks per day to 1000 bricks per day, this will result to consume the usage of plastic waste up to 2-3 tons of plastic waste per day, we plan to reach this target early 2023 by doing so this will help us to reach more customers, buildings affordable Eco-friendly buildings, and creating more than 50 sustainable decants jobs

 To accomplish our 5 years strategic growth, Arena Recycling will require $50,000 in growth capital for the injecting heavy duty machinery and equipment



How are you measuring your progress toward your impact goals?


  • 40% of plastic waste reduced by 2025
  • 20% of people living in slum decreased by 2030
  • 45% of primary schools in Tanzania have access to adequate and affordable sanitation facility
  • At least 50% of people can demonstrate and improve knowledge on waste management and recycling by 2025
  • 60% of marginalized people especially women who are living less than 2$ per day have access to decent job by 2025

What is your theory of change?



  • Collection of plastic waste from the environment
  • Sorting, segregating and crushing of plastic waste
  • Applying sand-polymer technology for mixing plastic and sand together for the production of Eco-bricks
  • Selling and delivering Eco-bricks to the construction site
  • Awareness of plastic waste management and recycling



  • To reduce the problem of plastic waste in the environment by recycling plastic waste into Eco-bricks
  • Increased access to affordable Eco-bricks to low income communities
  • Reduced the rate of unemployment especially to women who are living less than 2$ per day
  • Plastic waste management and recycling increased



  • Plastic waste collected from the environment by organizing beach ups
  • 100 Eco-building are built includes eco-sanitary facilities  women are employed

Describe the core technology that powers your solution.

The polymer sand technology  is an eco-friendly technology and an homogenous mixture between sand and plastic polymers ,this substance acts as an ultra-powerful bonding agent that strongly binds together the concrete element on the other hand it holds installations together more homogeneously polymeric sand that produce a strong Eco-friendly bricks that is very hostile environment for mold and fungus .

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new application of an existing technology

Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Manufacturing Technology

Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?

  • 12. Responsible Consumption and Production
  • 13. Climate Action
  • 14. Life Below Water
Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?

For-profit, including B-Corp or similar models

How many people work on your solution team?

Full time staff -5 ,Part time 3 ,contractors -10

How long have you been working on your solution?


What is your approach to incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusivity into your work?

Our social enterprise is youth led which impact all sexes and nearly all age ranges except children, division of work come to be essential and highly applied in which each group got something to do in our enterprise. The C-series is diverse, with gender balance, and equipped with multidisciplinary people; our CEO is a medical scientist; our COO is marine scientist; our CTO is a process engineer whilst CFO is a Certified Public Accountant. 

Men and women have equal chance to opportunity at Arena Recycling Industry. Amongst the 20 indirect jobs created by our venture, we have 14 women and the rest are men’s. We partook to create employment opportunity for women’s who are living less than 2$ per day and regarded as the one who take care of the family and we are glad that they are capable of handling their family basic needs from salary being generated from our circular business.

Plastics sorting and collection number the activities that can be done with people with minor disability. We have included some of workers who executes the task that do not require them being skilled or/and can be done with marginalized groups. 

Your Business Model & Funding

What is your business model?

Arena operates under B2C and B2B business models, although upon growth we plan to execute B2G as we have seen the abundant profit margins in few government tender we have been implementing since 2020. We trade interlocking bricks and pavement blocks which number our first line products; we target the bottom of the pyramid community with a B2C model minding the aforementioned products are obtainable at even low price compared to concrete substitutes while delivering the superior masonry performance characteristics to users, on other hand we target non-governmental organization with a B2B model. The mentioned superior masonry characteristics relieve the clients pains; as our products have low moisture absorption capacity (less than 0.1%) and hence suitable in harsh wet environment where substitutes products suffer fungi and mechanical failure; the products are as stronger as twice than substitutes hence last longer.

Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, to other organizations, or to the government?

Individual consumers or stakeholders (B2C)

What is your plan for becoming financially sustainable?

The future of a business lies in the number of loyal customers that we have, the capacity and competence of the employees, our investment strategy and the business structure.

One of the major goals of starting Arena Recycling is to build a business that will survive with its own cashflow however just for now we are still in the phase of acquiring resources includes funds that will help us to have advanced equipment and machinery

We know one way of gaining approval and winning customers over is to retail our wide range of quality building materials a little bit cheaper than what is obtainable in the market and we are well prepared to survive in a lower margin profit for a while

Arena recycling is making sure that the right foundation structures and processes are put in place that our staff welfare are well taken off

Our business corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and retraining of our workforce is at the top burner.

Share some examples of how your plan to achieve financial sustainability has been successful so far.

We have acquired grants from entrepreneurship challenges which cumulate to 20 US$,

2019 -5k$ from Danish embassy

2020-7k$ from US Embassy

20121-8k$ from UNDP Tanzania

 the grants used as seed capital and idea validation. At the moment we retain the revenues from sales for future investment as we plan to scale up having capacity of producing minimum of 100 bricks per day, so far we have successfully bought a mundane plastic crusher worth 15 US$ with retained money from revenues and funds and we hope by the end of this year to buy an extruder machine  which cost 30k$ which could match with bought crusher which at the moment is used to crush plastics and the excess are sold as shredded plastics to other recyclers

Solution Team

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