Best Ideas 2018 features all the nominated entries submitted to the Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solution or proposition for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage. If you want to know the 10 finalists in this category, click HERE
Explain your idea in details:
Mretjha industries is a plastic waste recycling company which was founded out of a need to significantly reduce the impact of plastic waste on the natural environment and to address the plight of unemployment by creating job opportunities for the ordinary man on the street. We make use of thermal cracking technology through a machine that chemically converts end-of-life plastic into a product called Plaxx. Our vision is to create a vast network of economic opportunity through the removal of plastic waste from the natural environment. We want to turn plastic into gold all the while creating jobs through a sustainable programme of plastic recycling. The technology that will help in achieving this objective is the RT7000 machine. In South Africa, we have these places called 'scrap yards'. They are an integral part of the informal economy, in a sense that they bring economic vibrancy by allowing ordinary people to bring their collection of steel/iron or copper metal to be weighed and in turn these people receive financial remuneration for their goods, according to what the value of the goods is on the scale. We want to apply this model in relation to plastic waste and reward people to collect plastic waste and cleanse the natural environment. We will then take the plastic waste and process it through the RT7000 machine. This will give us the final product which is plaxx. Plaxx has four cuts; Plaxx-16: Plaxx 16 is a clean fuel which we will supply to our local maritime industry as fuel for marine engines. Plaxx-30: Plaxx-30 will be offered as a low sulphur heavy fuel oil. Plaxx-50: Plaxx-50 will be used as wax in the wax and coatings industry. Plaxx-08: Plaxx 08 is a product which can be used for polymer manufacturers as feedstock for plastic production.
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
Currently, 26.7% of South Africa's youth is unemployed and has no source of income. We plan to reduce this by 50% within the first two years of being operational, by ensuring that we have at least one RT7000 machine in all nine provinces. This will allow us to create a self-sustaining model that creates employment and effectively deals with the 58% of plastic waste that ends up not getting recycled in South Africa. In coastal areas such as Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town, we plan to work with local communities there to erect bio-fences on all rivers to ensure that we prevent plastic waste from entering our oceans. This is already an effective mechanism which is used in Guatemala. We will utilise the scrap yard model, whereby people collect steel and bring it to a steel/iron factory to be weighed, and whatever the metal weighs, they get monetary compensation for it. This is already an industry in South Africa. We plan to apply the same model towards plastic waste and turn it into gold. Our revenue, as a business, will come from selling plaxx (the final cut from the recycled plastic waste) to various, relevant industries. Success will be measured by how well we manage to recycle the waste. We will study closely a spike in the number of people collecting waste to be weighed vs the cleanliness of the natural environment.
Plans for implementation and sustainability
Our idea utilizes the scrap yard model, whereby people collect steel and bring it to a steel/iron factory to be weighed, and whatever the metal weighs, they get monetary compensation for it. This is already an industry in South Africa. We plan to apply the same model towards plastic waste and turn it into gold. Plastic waste plastic collecting agents Our factory Plaxx Industry(ies) In terms of financing, we are currently in talks with a few organizations including banks, NGOs and some governmental institutions to get assistance. We have reached out to Standard Bank, NYDA (National Youth Development Agency) among others, in pursuit of financial assistance and resources that might help us to have the positive impact we wish to have in order to meet our objectives. We plan to work in collaboration with the organisation PlasticSA, with the hope that their knowledge and experience in the field of plastic recycling will help us to have a greater impact and wider appeal in showing the people of South Africa the economic prospect of plastic recycling, especially in relation to our model.
My name is Lunga Mahlangu. Im a 27 year old Joburger with dreams and goals that are in the same Whatsapp group as Cassper Nyovest's (that is in terms of magnitude). My interests include history, politics, contemporary art, music, African literature, cooking, chess and football. Im a creative at heart and writing is a platform that I find most suitable for the expression of my creative thoughts. The pen grants me the kind of freedom that allows me to clearly articulate and put into perspective things that might not necessarily come out as intended through verbal dialogue. With a pen, Im able to organize my thoughts neatly and turn into a Picasso, painting a vivid picture with one thousand words (and more often with far less, depending on the subject matter). I decided to pursue the idea of plastic recycling after seeing how the scourge is spiralling out of control and threatening life on earth. Plastic is a good source of packaging, easy to manufacture and practical in usage. However, its resistance to decomposition, durability and the fact that its not biodegradable makes it a problematic factor in pollution, thereby putting immense pressure on the natural environment. The oceans are affected by this ordeal in a debilitating manner. Plastic pollution threatens marine life significantly, with about 1 hundred million tons of plastic waste currently believed to be contaminating our oceans. As things stand, only about 10% of global plastic waste is effectively recycled. The rest is buried in landfills, burnt or unaccounted for. According to the latest statistics released by Plastics|SA , South Africa recycled about 41.8% of the 1.144 million tons of recyclable plastic that entered the waste stream in 2016. We need to come together and address this problem in an effective way.