Nzambi Matee (Kenya), a materials engineer and head of Gjenge Makers, which produces sustainable low-cost construction materials made of recycled plastic waste and sand.
“We must rethink how we manufacture industrial products and deal with them at the end of their useful life,” said Soraya Smaoun, who specializes in industrial production techniques with UNEP. “Nzambi Matee’s innovation in the construction sector highlights the economic and environmental opportunities when we move from a linear economy, where products, once used, are discarded, to a circular one, where products and materials continue in the system for as long as possible.”
The Young Champions of the Earth prize is the United Nations Environment Programme’s leading initiative to engage youth in tackling the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. Seven winners were announced in December 2020. The winners are given funding and mentorship to support their environmental initiative. Since its inception in 2017, 28 environmental trailblazers have been recognised from every corner of the globe.
Courtesy of UN Environment Programme