RCE Greater Nairobi - 2022


Diani Beach Road
Open Loop Recycling of Plastic as a solution to Plastic Pollution in The Kenyan Coastline, A Case Study of Kwale County
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Open Loop Recycling of Plastic as a solution to Plastic Pollution in The Kenyan Coastline, A Case Study of Kwale County
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Greater Nairobi
Contributing organization(s) : 
World Student Community for Sustainable Development (WSCSD-Kenya)
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Ezra Onyango Onyango
Organizational Affiliation: 
World Student Community For Sustainable Development
Format of project: 
PowerPoint Presentation
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Geographical & Education Information
Africa and Middle East
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Ukunda Msambweni Road
Target Audience:
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
The area is a tourist attraction site with high level of economic activities drawn from the tourism industry
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
The development of new plastic materials adds complexity to the plastic waste market, which is generally counterproductive to recycling efforts. In the Kenya, recycling failure rates are already rising, with over 12% of post-consumer plastic wastes from industries and households being rejected. Small volume plastics contaminate PET, PE, and PP recycling creeks at the end of their lives, increasing the likelihood that waste will not be recycled due to poor quality.
January, 2022
Plastic recycling is a well-established technology that contributes to a circular economy. New recycling techniques, such as disintegrating plastics in a solvent to purify and preserve its properties of materials, will improve plastic waste management practices. Polymers can also be depolymerized into monomers in solution, which can be used to re - create virgin-grade material. The circularity of plastic is limited by current policies and investments in waste management, detachment, and recycling
The study findings recommend that going forward, appropriate recycling techniques with the lowest environmental impact at a high TRL level will necessitate a transition from the current quaternary and even secondary recycling methods to tertiary recycling approaches, which will have a positive environmental impact and contribute to CO2 reduction. Primary recycling techniques such as the use of solvent works particularly well for high-performance and technical plastics, and should be encouraged.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
Solvent extraction allows for the removal of PVC from PET, just as it may be necessary to eliminate PLA from PET waste in the future. Polystyrene recycling has a high potential though the rate of consumer plastic recycling are low due to a lack awareness among stakeholders. Solvent-based approaches to dissolve and densify polystyrene have a potential of making recycling more cost-effective. Limonene and Switchable-polarity are appropriate binary solvent systems that can help dissolve polystyrene.
Size of academic audience: 
Only by improving pre-treatment in accordance with the most appropriate recycling process for a polymer can the environmental performance of recycling be maximized. The research supports this by demonstrating that polymer quality comprising of mixed source, mixed materials is essential and influences a technology's overall environmental impact; nevertheless, it has no effect on the technology's efficiency score.
Lessons learned: 
By first dissolving the trash and then adding an extra solvent to selectively precipitate the polymers, solvent-based recycling techniques effectively remove brominated flame retardants from plastics. Higher purity and enhanced sorting are recommended to improve the performance of primary recycling techniques by removing impurities and enhancing beneficial environmental consequences. As a result, optimum recycling performance is achieved when pre-treatment (sorting, cleaning) is tailored to the recycling method.
Key messages: 
Since primary mechanical recycling solutions are not available for items containing additives, such as WEEE plastics, tertiary recycling to monomers through pyrolysis and gasification are the only option available. This main recycling method will result in enhanced recycling for complex polymers with additives in the distant future, when disintegration is pushed to high TRL levels.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
Technologies that recover feedstock or wax from polymers may act as a bridge between waste streams
including complicated engineering polymers and thermosets, as well as substantially polluted or mixed streams of waste, and optimum recycling. effect of plastic recycling is anticipated to be lowered further in the future when solvent recycling technique is combined with green power mixtures, since green electricity has fewer environmental consequences than fossil energy sources.
The research was fully funded by WSCSD-Kenya


File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon OPEN LOOP RECYLCING OF PLASTIC WASTE.jpeg (118.93 KB) Open Loop Recycling of Plastic Waste Ezra Onyango
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
SDG 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
I acknowledge the above: