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Plastic Waste for Paver and Tile

I am leading a team of young and middle aged entrepreneurs and innovators to use our resources available and find solutions.

Photo of Olive Akware

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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

The idea is about protecting the environment where our enterprise is trying to engage, mobilize and sensitizing the community firstly, to understand the hazards that result from wastes. Through this we have tried to involve and engage youth to collect plastic waste (polythene, plastic bottles) to recycle and turn them into pavers and tiles to work as building materials that can be used to lay tarmac in homes, parking lots and other business centers or places. It has to our notice that people/community burn these wastes and/or neglect of plastic and waste management, ending up into bigger waters. The project is trying to reduce the volumes of waste products that are damped in every place causing environmental degradation, health hazards and change of climate. Municipalities, households, business centers, shops and market vendors have for years complained about waste materials and an alternative to help solve this problem was still lacking. We want to help and bridge the problem by transforming plastic into useful material through waste management; foremost to save our planet and human life. People who reside nearby swamps, rivers and lakes always dump waste into them causing a lot of creatures like fish to die young, animals like cows and goats similarly eat these plastic bags and eventually die. A few days ago, news by Yahoo showed that a Whale found dead after eating over 80 plastic bags; this indicates that the lives of such creatures and more others are in danger, as a consequence this also affect human life; because millions of plastics produced every day, every months and year are dumped into the greater waters; making the wastes a global challenge.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Our direct and indirect beneficiaries are people of all ages including children of 0-17 years and adults of 18-93 years; these include children in schools, at home, business people, companies and street vendors who work in places where waste materials are damped and eventually causing harm to their lives, the environment and changing of climate. Among the direct beneficiaries are young people ages 15-30 who the project will equip with innovation skills to become entrepreneurs and innovators thus making them self-reliant by forming them in working clusters that engages them in direct production and sales agents. The project is also directly targeting building contractors and middle class and companies or enterprises that search for these products to make their living environment well designed and better to live in.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

The difference lies in the combination of purely neglected wastes that include plastic bottles, polythene or plastic bags from which NFLUCO Youth Build change into pavers and tiles; unlike other competitors whose production is made out of sawdust and other artificial material. The organization a team of young with expertise in technical skills and waste management, and also working with other stakeholders would really make NFLUCO a centre for excellence and is in a good position to make this project a success. The idea is environmentally friendly initiative working tirelessly towards conserving the degraded environment, providing skills and employment to young entrepreneurs; improve sanitation in homesteads, in places of work in urban towns and cities, industrial areas, reducing polluting lakes, rivers and wetlands. I believe our approach will be successful basing on the following factors;- By-products are easily accessible and cheaper to collect; eengages stakeholders to take part.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Prototype: I have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing the idea.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

Founded in 2010, Africa Intercultural Development Support Trust (AIDEST) is an all-youth based support organization in Uganda. Thereafter NFLUCO Youth Build (NYB) was born and incorporated in 2015 to promote innovation technologies, energy and conservation of natural resources. NYB increases youth production skills in order to enhance their employable opportunities in the labour market, thus helping the young workforce in Uganda to be given the opportunity to build their capacity for work.

Expertise in sector

  • 3-5 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered social enterprise.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

It was June 2017, that the idea of transforming plastic waste was developed in me. It was realized that volumes of wastes were damped everywhere and had reached time to put them into useful material(s). Many people in places of work including large and smallholder farmers had also observed that plastics and polythene was damaging the environment especially fertile soils that their production was minimal, experienced over-drainage, floods, poor living environment and people in slum areas.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

NFLUCO Youth Build enterprise is concerned about the Planet and Prosperity of the people; where the target community accepted the idea of reducing plastic materials heaped in their premises or at their disposal including bottles and polythene, that has really made an impact on their lives, the climate and causing soil erosion, pushed into reserved natural resources and places like swampy areas and wetlands and eventually injuring the agricultural sector and farming communities. These efforts require a collective responsibility by involving all stakeholders to participate, since I have realized it to be a world’s threatening crisis, putting the masses and the planet into a serious situation. The weakness, lack of motivation and capacity building that could have been geared by our politicians at the district council(s) levels has also made the programme failing to prosper; these are policy makers who would have contributed in laying policies and sensitizing people within urban settings.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

Partners to get involved include NAMFLUX Contracting Company Ltd– Specialist in solar, electrical and construction services. Brick To Housing Pioneer Women Project – Women enterprises and empowerment. Africa Intercultural Development Support Trust (AIDEST). This partnership will help the progress of the project and scaling of the idea.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

Waste management committees known as the ‘’enkiiko’’ in Luganda African dialect are been formed; these will strongly be the platform to help the idea/project to succeed. The enkiiko will help us mobilize youth and building capacity to call upon young people to be agents of change in making our environment better to live in; and the enterprise to prosper. The community where we are fostering the idea to start from has many youth, and are the primary beneficiaries we are targeting.

Geographic Focus

Mukono District of Central Uganda in East Africa.

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

The project idea requires 12 months of development; to enable it create more impact on the target groups and the environment effect for better. In the following months / years we plan to work on its scalability and business stability.

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No

If Yes, how has project idea changed, grown, or evolved since last year? (2,000 characters)

Since last year, our enterprise has done more on sensitizing the community, by encouraging people in homes and shop attendants in places of work to foster waste management and keeping their environment(s) clean, and reducing damping of waste wherever they want. However, the project idea has grown on a low speed, due to lack of resources like paver machine, recycling machines and limited expertise in terms of human resource among the target groups. Since we want the idea to grow alongside innovation technologies, the project is interlinked with environmental protection, climate change and management and conservation of resources, recycling raw materials into useful things, training of youth thereby giving it a form of social and economic venture. The enterprise has so far recycled some plastic pavers that are being used and recommended by local constructors since 2017. The enterprise still requires recycling machines, paver machines, molds among other requirements; whereby the demand for the product is high we may fail to reach this goal.
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Attachments (2)


NFLUCO Youth Build increases youth production skills in order to enhance their employable opportunities in the labour market, thus helping the young workforce in Uganda to be given the opportunity to build their capacity for work


Meddie a Technical personnel who is heading the innovation and fabrication team is showing a concrete paver produced recycled from a mix of plastic bottles and polythene.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Olive Akware

@Ashley Tillman. Thank you for the work at OPENIDEO. I and team still have pending questions, not yet responded to? How isabout the progress of our IDEA: ‘’Plastic Waste for Paver and Tile’’

Best regards,


Photo of Natalie White null

Hi Olive, I love your work and proposal. It is so critical that we start finding practical and economically efficient uses for our plastic waste. I think tiles and paver are ideal. Lots of potential to build bridges here including the possibility to strengthen the economy through job creation.

Photo of Olive Akware

Hello Natalie or OpenIDEO team,
I hope this finds you well. We worked on the User Experience / Feedback and ready to share. My inquiry and help go toward submitting my insights on prototype and Feedback or User Experience Map. I can't find ''Update Your Entry'' where I am directed to attach the file. Can you please help me and guide me on the same since days are running to contribute. You can write to me at or on OPENIDEO website. Best regards.

Photo of Our Workshop

Hello Olive

Plastic waste is such a versatile material to work with - not only as a paver, but to make many many things for everyday life.

I am Heath Nash and i've worked with plastic 'waste' since 2004... i am very willing to share my work and techniques... this is what I am doing through the NPO I started Our Workshop ...

please see our proposal on this platform Our Workshop: Making Togetherness 

we should find ways to work together to spread the potential of using 'waste' for making useful everyday items as well as pavers!!

Photo of Olive Akware

Surely true we should work together, it's most welcome. I agree with you that there a lot of useful things we can make put of wastes. Among these, our workshop too chose pavers and/or tiles as one contribution we can make that reducing on these wastes while making good out of it with expertise.

Photo of Our Workshop

OK cool... well I think figuring out how to REALLY connect with the people I am meeting through this platform is a whole project in itself!!!
I see many possible projects to connect with, but as we all know we only have so many hours in a day, and building these connections into longer term relationships will be the hardest part.
But we can try to find ways...
Ashley Tillman is there anything your team is doing to help us to grow connections we are making on the platform??? There is so much potential, but this is where kind of global network building things are SO hard to follow through with/on!!!

Photo of Olive Akware

Am trying to understand what is in your massege contribution. I have taken long to reply but I noted I had to reply to it. Yes, I agree there many projects connect with, some of whose ideas presented are so good.
I am trying to realise something to help us together build connections is commitment, love to share ideas and implement them, though building this requires resources: this would apply in Africa to as well encourage other development partners and stakeholders both at local and international level to support building them to stabilise. But sustaining an established enterprise here has it own challenges and lack of commitment by the team members, associated with limited time spared for its growth including self interests developed in some enterprise team members. Many issues to mention as well as failure to design and consider business/ organization structures for such enterprise to keep running for over years so more. I would think, the idea of finding a mentor for each business idea submitted would help solve such risks.

Photo of Our Workshop

Hello Olive
Mmmm a mentor... I'm not sure how an 'outside' mentor would work - especially from a more 'developed' space... Maybe that is an option, but maybe there are other ways too... By building this mentorship INTO the team as you grow and learn together.

I hear you clearly when you speak about the following:
1 resources and working without much
2 how to stabilise something once it has emerged as a good project
3 sustaining an established enterprise - and moreover building good structures/systems for longevity
4 lack of commitment by team members due to lack of time, self-interest etc.

And these are EXACTLY the problems and issue we as Our Workshop are trying to tackle by building the organisation together as we grow - and as we grow relatively slowly, through acknowledging these problems.

We are not relying on funding or outside resources (because we don't have any yet, except what Heath and other members have put in e.g. tools, books, time, effort) and we make do with this by relying on our members to bring their whole selves and to really buy in because of the benefits/opportunities being a part of OW brings.
We are NOW trying to stabilise... we have our first 'team-work' process this weekend... we are learning to find ways to build in 3 key elements:
O - opportunities
U - understanding and
R - respect
We are thus learning to build systems that work for us (and WhatsApp is seeming like the best tool!!! - we have just started to use a WhatsApp group to record sales each day at our little shop) to try and establish such operational structures.
And commitment is shown only over time - so by ensuring that membership of OW has enough benefits and everyone is heard, respected and benefits makes for a team that becomes committed!!

Thanks for your response,

Photo of Olive Akware

Dear Heath,
Good evening.
It sounds impossible to work or develop the idea/project with the support of an 'outside' mentor but if identified it works. I remember when I was trying to work on idea of a bricklaying project in 2016 with a possibility of applying biogas to burn or fire the bricks, I remember for us (entrepreneurs) who submitted entrepreneurship ideas to develop, each of us had a mentor and the mentorship was done online, then after came a time for that mentor with a team to make a site visit to see what exactly we were talking about and doing associated with demonstrations. Yes, also there can be an option, whereby an entrepreneur can be mentored to become the surrogate mentor developed or identified from the group/team developing the's possible.

Thank you for recognizing some of the points I talked of earlier, and so in your reply. Our workshop/team building and management team involves professionals with expertise in Project Planning and Management, Innovation(s) team, Social Workers and other Technical personnel. We have built a strong team that potentially can make the project/enterprise grow. Financial, material and human resources go hand-in-hand., but foremost is to have the idea within you/mind the others follow. Our workshop has also designed/developed a number of products through innovations ranging from root crop slice machine for smallholder farmers, solar light for women street vendors, and now we are working/developing pavers and tiles from 'plastic waste'- (which in our language term as ''Kasasiro''), currently our workshop is innovating vehicle/motorcycle pedals also from plastic waste - ''Kasasiro''

Likewise, our (ALL) innovations/ideas have not received financial support yet too, what we make is what we sale, but with modest demand from our customers hence less production capacity due to lack of appropriate technological machinery and human resource whom we are now training to become experts too. I would conclusively assert that there is still a problem of lack of members' commitment, strengthening structures that can help the enterprise to move on years ahead.

NFLUCO looks ahead to creating opportunities for young people, respect each other, and create a better working environment hence pave way for sustainable income and change of life standards.

Yeah Whatspp can help to build the network as you mentioned here, and other social media networks..but this will require for us to sensitize young people with skills of using social media and gain benefits because some get connected for just chat but not sharing developmental issues, but within our team members we are learning to use it for marketing and sharing..HELP so MUCH in this technological world. No one should be left behind.

Written by Olive.
Posted by Herman - Team member.

Photo of Our Workshop

Hello Olive
What a wonderful response. Thank you.

It sounds like we have a lot in common... Let's connect more here, and perhaps also on facebook? Please follow @ourworkshopct on instagram and facebook??
What do I look up to follow you on these platforms??

In our context too, we are starting to share the benefits of social media as a change-agent rather than simply chat...

I hope we are able to continue this discussion into the next phase of the bridgebuilder challenge project!

Best regards,

Photo of Olive Akware

As I was perusing through to see a list of so many ideas submitted, I came across some whom we have similar ideas tackling and finding solutions of wastes be it plastics or polythene..I then realised its a global concern, which other stakeholders like governments can be influenced to work with us to manage waste...because stopping production of these usables may be difficult for now in such developing countries but also finding value addition. The government of Uganda had made it publicly for manufacturers to stop producing polythene for example but after period of time reproduction started, this was because they are not yet found a better alternative to replace polythene or plastic bags here we call "buveera" or kaveera in Luganda language. By introducing this unique idea, AIDEST througj NFLUCO Youth Build is trying JUST to reduce on the volumes damped around streets and homesteads, by transforming them into other values like pavers and tiles.

Photo of Olive Akware

Thank you Rita for the compliment. There is a lot to be done towards making young people realise the benefits of innovation and becoming self reliant, this is due that their number is overwhelming and lack employment, they keep knocking our doors searching for jobs while such a project can occupy their minds and stop begging, gambling and crime. Best.

Photo of Kate

Olive, I really love this idea. Associated with a project similar to this, I also believe it is important for youth to instill change and better the community. Great work!