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Nelson Boateng: Tackling Ghana’s Menace of Plastic Waste

Nelson Boateng: Tackling Ghana’s Menace of Plastic Waste

Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and an online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, and Changemakers who are advancing the UN SDGs. 

Spiffy here with the scoop on the entrepreneurial leaders of Planet Earth. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Nelson Boateng, the founder and CEO of Nelplast Eco Ghana Limited. Let’s learn about what’s happening there and how Nelson is making a positive impact in the world.

Spiffy: Hi Nelson, thanks a million for talking to me today. Tell me, what challenge are you addressing through Nelplast Eco Ghana Limited?

Nelson: Thanks for having me, Spiffy! Ghana produces over 1.5 million tons of plastics waste annually and only 5% to 7 % is ever found and recycled. Nelplast collects all kinds of plastic waste with the exception of PVC pipes, mixes it with sand, carbon black, and organic pigment, and uses sand-poly extrusion method to produce affordable construction materials like lego bricks, pillar mold bricks, pavement tiles, and bricks. We have over 300 women working on collection and sorting. We also have nine women working in the factory.

Spiffy: What motivates you to do it?

Nelson: Our motivation comes from the fact that we are using what we call plastic waste to build affordable homes for the ordinary Ghanaian, clean the environment, and create jobs, especially for women. That alone keeps me moving because I found happiness in helping society.

Spiffy: I love that. What would you say is the impact of your work?

Nelson: Our work helps cleans the environment, builds affordable houses, and creates jobs.

Spiffy: Tell me about a recent organization milestone or initiative. What impact does it make on your community?

Nelson: We have been able to recover over 4 million kilograms of plastic and convert them into construction materials which are recyclable even after so many years.

Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Nelson—it’s been an honor!

Nelson Boateng is a self-motivated and results-driven individual, whose innate talent for entrepreneurism and his strong professional training and experience have been combined with an uncanny capacity for innovation to establish Nelplast Eco Ghana Ltd, which is now acting as an agent for positive change with regards to one of Ghana’s biggest environmental challenges—the menace of plastic waste. (First published on the Ladderworks website on March 30, 2024.)

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of Ladderworks LLC.

© 2024 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Anushree Nande. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.