29 June 2022

Circularity Tales: a new life to plastic waste in Tanzania

Operated under the logic of take-make-waste, our current system is unsustainable as it is. According to the World Bank, 2.01 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste is annually generated around the globe, from which at least 33% is mismanaged through open dumping or burning. If we don’t drastically change our consumption habits, the horrifying forecast is for an increase to 3.40 billion tonnes in waste generation in less than thirty years.

Aiming at addressing this global challenge and all its subsequent consequences for people and the planet, the Circular Economy (CE) came to exist as an alternative model to the linear economy. Its chore message is to encourage “sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible” (European Parliament), extending their life value and reducing waste to a minimum.

At Impact Hub Global Network, we believe in the power of circularity to create a more sustainable present and future. That’s why we are currently on a mission to mainstream circular principles across our global network. For our third story of the Circularity Tales series, which is showcasing great examples from entrepreneurs taking action on the theme, we interviewed Wenceslaus Soka, Chief Operating Officer of PREYO CO. LTD, a venture that provides a new life to plastic waste in Dar er Salaam, Tanzania. Check it out:

PREYO's team

Impact Hub: First of all, thank you very much for taking the time to talk about your journey and perspectives with us! To start with, share with us: what’s PREYO about?
Wenceslaus Soka: In a nutshell, PREYO is innovating and creating a better world through plastic recycling. Founded in 2019 and located in one of Tanzania’s biggest urban centers, we are a plastic waste management company that collects and recycles them into eco-friendly, affordable and durable products, such as paving bricks.

Impact Hub: Great work! Gathering from your experience, what does circularity mean to you?
Wenceslaus Soka: Circularity is the product and waste management strategy in which there is a close loop between the two elements, making it possible to generate value to wastes and ensuring that the products do not end as leftovers that pollute our environment.

Impact Hub: Diving deeper in this topic, you participated in Impact Hub Dar es Salaam’s circularity pilot to implement EC practices into your business. How circular was your business at the start of the program? How circular is it now? What has changed in your venture when we look at it through circularity lenses?
Wenceslaus Soka: At the start, we did not fully close the loop. We did not understand how to trace a product before it was launched. Now, we have the know-how and we are able to implement the circularity practices ensuring that our recycled wastes become truly eco-friendly to the environment for centuries to come.

Deviating from the linear economy models to the circular one is absolutely fundamental for reducing the impact of wastes that have already been produced and to provide for an alternative channeling of wastes that otherwise would be polluting our environment.”  

Impact Hub: Throughout that journey, how participating in the program with support of Impact Hub Dar es Salaam has benefited PREYO?
Wenceslaus Soka: Impact Hub Dar es Salaam was essential in supporting us to build stronger skills to understand our business industry, its needs and how to scale it in an impactful, meaningful manner.

Impact Hub: Considering PREYO’s recent developments in the program aftermath, which circularity practices would you recommend to other ventures to implement as well?
Wenceslaus Soka: Circular product design is key, and so is performing modularity and smart material choices. These three elements create a better and more solid base for circularity for any entities interested in making a lasting impact as well.

Impact Hub: Listen up, social entrepreneurs – insightful advice right there! Now, looking back at your trajectory in the circularity program, what have you enjoyed the most? Why?
Wenceslaus Soka: We enjoyed everything about the circularity program! It was 100% related to what we do and it contributed a lot to our understanding of other circularity components that we didn’t know previously, such as some principles and circular business design – which we applied to our venture.

Impact Hub: Talking about the future now, what’s next for PREYO?
Wenceslaus Soka: We want our venture to embed the best circularity principles into its DNA – not only through the plastic recycling process, but also through the empowerment of young people and the scaling up of projects to countries in the East African community.

PREYO's principles!

Impact Hub: To wrap up the conversation, why do you consider circularity to be so important nowadays?
Wenceslaus Soka: Deviating from the linear economy models to the circular one is absolutely fundamental for reducing the impact of wastes that have already been produced and to provide for an alternative channeling of wastes that otherwise would be polluting our environment.  

Watch below a quick testimony from Abdalha Nyambi, Wenceslaus Soka’s partner in the journey of embedding circularity into PREYO’s business model.

Follow PREYO on social media to discover their contributions to a greener world at @preyotz (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin).

The Circularity Program is part of our broader Environmental Strategy – discover how Impact Hub Global Network is addressing our time’s most pressing issues here.

To learn from already-tested approaches, discover new activities and opportunities to integrate the Circular Economy knowledge into your entrepreneur support programs design and implementation, discover our toolkit!