‘‘It is 1p.m, lunch hour at Premier Food Limited (PFL). The staff have taken a break to grab something to eat before they resume their duties. As the rest of the staff head for lunch, Caroline Odera, who heads the Housekeeping Department, walks happily with her team to a segregated sitting area closer to PFL’S second gate. This is where the Eco-bricks Magic happens.’’
The eco-bricks team, commonly referred to as eco-bricks champions have voluntarily dedicated their free time to making eco-bricks as a recycling method to promote waste management and reduce the burden on landfill. They are also supported by the company’s sustainability team.
‘’ I oversee housekeeping at PFL, that is my job. However, when this project was introduced, I decided that during my free time I will be part of this recycling journey because it’s a way of conserving the environment.’’ Says Caroline Odera housekeeping supervisor and head of the eco-bricks team.
Before making the eco-bricks, they collect PFL’s tetra packs, Recycled plastic bottles and plastic wastes. After the collection, the team goes ahead to clean all the plastic material they have collected, dry them before embarking on the eco-bricking making process.
‘’The eco-bricks making process involves making pet plastic bottles densely stuffed with clean and non-recyclable plastics. All you need is the clean plastic material, clean empty plastic bottles, a wooden stick to help you fill the bottle, a pair of scissors to help cut the plastic material and you are a go.’’ Caroline adds.
PFL has an eco-brick store in the company. The team collects the plastic wastes three times a week and they make the eco-bricks daily. They also accept eco-bricks made by the people around the community.
The team was recently awarded for their efforts and hitting their target on the number of ecobricks produced. The eco-bricks project was officially launched on the 18th of September 2020 on World Clean Up day. So far, over 750 Eco-bricks have been made and the process is ongoing.
‘We are visiting schools in our communities to train them on how to make eco-bricks and how they can be used within the school.’’ Says Duncan Indeche, Officer in charge of Sustainability activities PFL.
In 2021, PFL sustainability team partnered with Frigoken Limited and Miti alliance for an eco-brick training session at Gikambura primary school and Ruaraka high school. They demarcated the school’s tree nurseries and flower beds using eco-bricks. An activity that was very interesting for the students.
According to the champions, the ecobricks can be used as building blocks to make walls, benches and even houses.
Waste management is a key factor for PFL, other than eco-bricks recycling the company has introduced other initiatives to ensure they reduce waste coming out of the factory. They have also partnered with the Kenyan PET Recycling Company (PETCO) to ensure that this endeavor yield fruits.
The eco-brick champions are hopeful that one day, this project will be so big that they will be recognized world-wide for their efforts to conserve the environment and encourage other people to play their part in conserving the environment.