Published: 27 April 2021
Last edited: 27 April 2021
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The Plastic Recycling and Youth Empowerment Group - PREYO - is Tanzania’s youth startup aiming to reduce the plastic pollution problem in Tanzania and Africa at large. They are driven by the urge to end the waste pollution problems in cities by turning waste into valuable commodities. They have managed to reap the benefit out of waste by turning them into refillable block pavement (building materials), home decoration (flowers), and furniture. PREYO's mission is to restore, protect and enhance the environment, to ensure public health, environmental quality, and economic vitality. PREYO plans to turn every trace and remains of plastics into precious reusable items.  Economically, PREYO will harness the benefit of waste and plastic trash where after the installation of the plastic recycling industry more than 2,000 individuals will get direct and indirect employment.


East and South Africa
Scale of implementation
Area-wide development
Buildings and facilities
Coral reef
Freshwater ecosystems
Marine and coastal ecosystems
River, stream
Urban ecosystem and build environment
Cities and infrastructure
Health and human wellbeing
Local actors
Marine litter
Science and research
Sustainable livelihoods
Urban planning
Waste management
Urban and Disaster Risk Management
City management, governance and finance
Resilience and disaster risk management
Sustainable urban infrastructure and services
Urban poverty and housing
Pollution (incl. eutrophication and litter)
Infrastructure development
Lack of alternative income opportunities
Lack of infrastructure
Unemployment / poverty
Sustainable development goals
SDG 1 – No poverty
SDG 3 – Good health and well-being
SDG 8 – Decent work and economic growth
SDG 9 – Industry, innovation and infrastructure
SDG 10 – Reduced inequalities
SDG 11 – Sustainable cities and communities
SDG 12 – Responsible consumption and production
SDG 13 – Climate action
SDG 14 – Life below water
SDG 15 – Life on land
SDG 17 – Partnerships for the goals
Aichi targets
Target 4: Sustainable production and consumption
Target 8: Pollution reduced
Sendai Framework
Target 6: Enhance international cooperation to developing countries through adequate and sustainable support to complement their national actions for implementation of this Framework by 2030
Target 7: Increase the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments to the people by 2030
Business engagement approach
Indirect through consumers


Dar es Salaam, Tanzania


PREYO is tackling the issue of plastic pollution in rivers and beaches. These wastes cause flooding and have a large impact on human health and the aquatic ecosystem. PREYO is picking up the plastic waste and turning it into usable commodities such as car bushes, refillable block pavement (building materials), and home decoration (flowers), which leave the environment and atmosphere free of pollution. 


Ten permanent workers and more than 200 temporary workers who are waste pickers are benefiting. The public is benefiting from cleanness done by PREYO.  300 clubs have been established in various schools in Dar es Salaam aiming at empowering the youth.

How do the building blocks interact?

The strength of PREYO’s team is the diversity and complementarity of skills available in terms of Vocational Trainings. Some members have the skills to fabricate machines suitable for crushing plastics. Also, the team comprises social innovators capable of attracting strong partnerships in the recycling business. That is attracting people who are in a position to support PREYO’s work in terms of running costs and buying machines. Moreover, networking with other recyclers, staying open to new ideas and partnerships have boosted PREYO’s innovation capacities and visibility and this has allowed them to produce good quality products.





PREYO has managed to collect about 6,000 tons of plastic including both PET bottles and PP and 3000 tons of HDPE. They have successfully raised awareness about plastic waste in the restaurant community, and at the bus stands because these are the main sources of plastic littering. PREYO has partnered with NipeFagio and Zaidi recycling at various events of beach cleanup where they have collected a significant amount of plastics thereby preventing leakage into the environment. These initiatives have received global attention and they have received a Green African Global climatic African ambassador award and the Mohamed Dewji Foundation support. PREYO has supported about 200 people who are waste pickers through the purchase of plastic waste at a price of TZS 200 per kg.



Abdalla Nyambi is the CEO of the Plastic Recycling and Youth Empowerment Group (PREYO) established in 2015. One day while walking down the street to visit Erick, Abdalla passed by a restaurant that was located in front of a residential house. The owner of the house was arguing with the restaurant owner and later the passer-by asked them what had happened? The lady said that restaurant customers were discarding empty plastic bottles in front of her house. It was a serious dispute until the village executive officer intervened. They were told to collect them and wait for the garbage truck to pick them up and throw them away. When Abdalla arrived at Erick’s place he told him that on his way he saw people arguing about plastic waste. But he remembers to have seen people collecting plastic waste but he was not sure why they were collecting those plastics. He told him they would do some research to find out what plastic waste is collected and why. After research, they discovered that the plastics that were collected were sold in recycling factories owned by the Chinese. In the factory, plastics were cleaned and ground to either make new products or sell pellets. Since the Chinese were making products, they saw an opportunity. But it was not possible to start as the Chinese so they agreed to start an organization. They formed a group of about 10 people and elected Erick as Secretary. They began the initiative by educating the public about the problem of plastic waste and also started visiting places that were dealing with plastics to explore and understand it more. As they understood plastic they decided to fabricate their own Plastic injection molding system which they are currently using to make different products. These products are car bushes, and bricks which have been tested for their strength and found to be suitable for the construction of houses. Abdalla said the brick project requires a lot of investment and they are currently in negotiation with partners to see how they can get started. They have successfully fabricated their own machine which is a modified extruder with some added features. This was made possible by the support from the district council in terms of loans (TZS 4 million) and their own savings. They have adopted this system because is used all over the world. That is why they decided to invest in plastic recycling because raw materials are widely available.

Contributed by

lgaspare_39507's picture

Lydia Gaspare University of Dar es Salaam, School of Aquatic sciences and Fisheries Technology