Mondi awards $50,000 to a start-up which turns plastic waste into roof tiles

Publication Date:

22 May 2019

Financial boost for Kenyan company which tackles waste and creates jobs.

22 May 2019: An innovative Kenyan company which turns plastic waste into affordable roof tiles for homes has been given a financial boost by FTSE 100 packaging and paper company, Mondi Group.

Eco Blocks and Tiles has been selected by Mondi as the Lead2030 SDG 12 challenge winner and will receive $50,000 in financial investment, plus 12 months of business coaching, to equip the company with the expertise to grow.

Lead2030 was launched by One Young World, the global forum for young leaders, in November 2018 to support youth-led innovation to contribute to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Powered by some of the world’s leading businesses, Lead2030 aims to find, fund and accelerate youth-led solutions for each of the global goals and enable young innovators to scale and accelerate their impact.

Eco Blocks and Tiles mixes plastic waste with sand to make affordable, durable and eco-friendly roofing tiles in Kenya.  In 2018, its first operational year, the company sold 50,000 roofing tiles and recycled approximately 50 tonnes of plastic waste. With the funding from Mondi, the company has the potential to increase output by up to 20 times within two years.

Eco Blocks & Tiles predicts it will be recycling 1,200 tonnes of plastic waste annually by 2024 – equivalent to the weight of 200 African elephants. The business has the potential to play an important role in tackling plastic waste and plans to use the financial investment and guidance from Mondi to scale and inform its long-term strategy as well as provide more secure jobs for local plastic pickers.

This investment will also allow Eco Blocks and Tiles to purchase new machinery to increase production. It will also fund marketing, advertising and exhibition costs, in addition to training 100 new roof masons.

Peter Oswald, CEO of Mondi, said: “Achieving a sustainable future depends on wholescale system change - driven by innovative solutions, business models and partnerships. By connecting entrepreneurial young people with leading global companies, the Lead2030 initiative creates an opportunity to address some of the world’s greatest challenges. The Eco Blocks and Tiles initiative, submitted by Hope Wakio Mwanake from Kenya, has real potential to reduce plastic waste and meet the demand for better quality housing in Africa through its eco-friendly roofing tiles made from recycled plastic and sand.  At Mondi, we believe collaboration is key in achieving the SDGs and we are confident that Eco Blocks and Tiles is a great example of how scaling great ideas creates maximum positive impact.”

Hope Wakio Mwanake, Co-Founder of Eco Blocks and Tiles, said: “I was born and raised in a poor- neighbourhood in Kenya and the local fields where we once played are now littered with plastic waste. I am determined to help change this by training and investing in local employees, offering a more sustainable solution to plastic pollution. Our company helps local plastic pickers earn a salary, tackles plastic waste and lowers the cost of housing. I am really excited that Eco Blocks and Tiles has been selected as a Lead2030 winner by Mondi. We are looking forward to learning from them and are sure it will help accelerate our growth.”

Hope Wakio Mwanake and Kevin Mureithi co-founded Eco Blocks and Tiles in 2016. The business positively contributes to SDG12 ‘Responsible Consumption and Production’ by creating value out of plastic waste.

You can find the full list of Lead2030 challenge winners here on the One Young World website:

Images available:


Susan Brunner
Senior Sustainability Positioning Manager
Tel: +43 1 79013 5654
E-mail: [email protected]

Chris Gurney
Corporate Communication Manager
Tel: +44 1932 82 6358
E-mail: [email protected]

About Mondi 

Mondi is a global leader in packaging and paper, delighting its customers and consumers with innovative and sustainable packaging and paper solutions. Mondi is fully integrated across the packaging and paper value chain - from managing forests and producing pulp, paper and plastic films, to developing and manufacturing effective industrial and consumer packaging solutions. Sustainability is embedded in everything Mondi does. In 2018, Mondi had revenues of €7.48 billion and underlying EBITDA of €1.76 billion.

About Eco Blocks and Tiles Solutions Ltd

Eco Blocks and Tiles is a social enterprise that manufactures alternative building products using various recycled waste materials such as plastics and glass as inputs in the production. Eco Blocks recycles plastics with sand to make affordable and durable roofing tiles for housing customers in Kenya. In 2018 the company sold 50,000 tiles and recycled 50 tonnes of plastic waste from the   environment. The State Department of Housing in Kenya presented Eco Blocks with an award for the most sustainable alternative roofing material.

About One Young World 

One Young World is the global forum for young leaders. At the annual Summit, the brightest talent from every country and sector debate and devise innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing issues. They are counselled by influential business, political, and humanitarian leaders such as Paul Polman, Justin Trudeau and Muhammad Yunus, amongst many other global luminaries.

One Young World offers an unrivalled platform to effect change at a global level, with over 10,000 Ambassadors in the network driving innovation worldwide. Each year the One Young World community sets the agenda, ensuring that topics are relevant, pressing and engaging.

Companies sending Delegates include Accenture, Audi, BMW, BNP Paribas, Chanel, Citigroup, Coca-Cola, Deloitte, Facebook, General Electric, Google, Johnson & Johnson, KPMG, L’Oréal and Unilever, to name a few.

To date, Summits have taken place in London (2010), Zurich (2011), Pittsburgh (2012), Johannesburg (2013), Dublin (2014), Bangkok (2015), Ottawa (2016), Bogota (2017) and The Hague (2018)

The next One Young World Summit will be held in London, UK (22 - 25 October 2019).