Nelson Boateng and his team at Nelplast Eco Ghana Limited are killing two birds with one stone by ridding the state capital of filth and providing affordable building materials made from plastic waste.
Plastic waste management in Ghana is a failed venture despite governments’ several attempts to curtail the menace. Keeping up with a sustainable policy is one hurdle policymakers are yet to cross. So when the government of Ghana decided to ban plastic materials completely, Nelson Boateng found his lightbulb moment.
The founder of Nelplast Eco Ghana Limited — a plastic recycling company that transforms plastic waste into building materials, until the dissolution of the plastic company that employed him after High School was the manager of the unnamed company.
This forced Nelson Boateng to set up Nelplast Limited which also started producing polybags and other plastics. Later he changed course and began reading and researching what other things plastics can be used for that will be friendly to the environment. That was when he came up with a unique paste, a mixture of sand and plastics to make bricks, B&FT says.
First plastic house in Ghana
Nelson and his Nelplast Eco Ghana Limited team began the construction of the prototype chamber and hall self-contained house made from 13,400 kilos of plastic waste sourced from gutters and beaches in Accra.
The 36-year-old began the initiative between 2015 and 2016 when there was a debate on the ban of plastics in Ghana.
According to Nelson, the bricks are not laid with mortar, therefore, a shift in the earth will not cause damage to the building since they can adjust to the expansion and contraction.
How safe is a plastic house?
In an interview with CitiBusiness News, Nelson said the bricks are made from sand and plastic constituting 70% and 30% respectively, making it fire-resistant.
It doesn’t require maintenance, and the house does not require air conditioning or heating to offer a good quality of life to its inhabitants. It’s more resistant to seismic movements because the material is flexible.
How much does a plastic house cost?
According to Nelson Boateng, the prototype cost him GHC60,000 [USD10407.63] to put up and that is because he runs it on a generator. “It would have been cheaper if I were on the national grid,” he said.
“Anyone with GHC500 to GHC1000 could own a house,” he added.
Watch the video below: