Kenyan Group Transforms Ocean Plastic into School Furniture, Fighting the Plastic Crisis

Local Start-upTwende Green Ecocycle uses sustainable school furniture to tackle plastic waste in Mombasa, Kenya. The social company, created in January 2023 by Churchill Muriuki, Lawrence Kosgei, Zainab Mahmoud, and Faraj Ramadhan, aims to reduce plastic waste along Mombasa’s shoreline and promote sustainability.

Muriuki told Africa News that approximately 80 tonnes of garbage are released daily in Mombasa. Out of this, 20% is plastic, with only 5% recycled. So we have 95 percent that ends up in the beautiful ocean and pollutes marine life.”

The school desks and chairs are made from recyclable materials, making them affordable and durable compared to typical hardwood furniture that breaks easily.

Kosgei, one of the founders, spoke about his personal experience sitting at a broken desk in primary school, stating, “I remember when I was young, I once sat on a broken and chipped desk, so it is really painful to see that the same problem still exists today.”

The organization collects plastic rubbish from beaches, shreds it, washes it, and crushes it under high heat to produce boards. The planks are then utilized to construct desks and chairs.

Photo Credit: Twende Green Ecocycle


According to Kosgei, recycling plastic garbage into school furniture creates something tangible that will benefit the community at large.

“We are able to, not only to conserve the environment but also able to promote sustainable education within Mombasa county.”

Africa Solutions Media Hub reported that the four founders were among 140 participants in the 2022-2023 Mombasa Plastic Prize (MPP) award program, which aims to address Mombasa’s plastic pollution problem. They earned USD 23,333 after outperforming 57 youth entrepreneur groups working on ecologically friendly projects to tackle Mombasa’s marine plastic rubbish problem.

Global Affairs Canada and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) sponsored the Challenge Works-organized competition. During their November visit to Mombasa, King Charles III and Queen Camila recognized the team’s extraordinary innovation.

Mvita Primary School in Mombasa recently received new eco-friendly desks and chairs, which delighted students.

Ronald Katana, a teacher at the school, commented, “Using traditional wooden tables, the pupils had to share by three, which is crowded. However, with these eco-desks, every student is comfortable.”

Leave a Reply