Local Startup Revolutionises Plastic Recycling Solutions

Innovation at times appears like magic as the innovators come up with exciting products that one could not belief the stuff and processes involved.

Graduating from the University of Zimbabwe with a Crop Science degree in 2011 is one Tinashe Lazarus Manyonga whose keen interest in waste management has seen him coming up with very exciting products.

By Kudakwashe Pembere and David Zvina 

Believe it or not, the magic of science and technology has seen Manyonga manufacture what he calls Temp Bags.

These Temp Bags are made from recycled material. They have bags which act as cookers, cooler boxes to mention but a few.

Born in January 1, 1988, Manyonga with his ingenuity never looked back as he continued develop many products that are environmentally friendly.

Realising the immense opportunities in this field given the rampant littering of plastic, kaylite and high energy tariffs coupled by recurrent power cuts, this led him to start a company that designs and manufactures non electric thermal products and other related products using household waste called TEMP-BAGs TEMPERATURE BAGS.

Unique Innovations P/L is a company that deals in turning waste into exciting and useful products, which are called TEMP BAGS. Tinashe owns intellectual property rights to all the TEMP BAG products. TEMP BAG is a registered trademark.

“At Unique Innovations we are seeing endless possibilities in the waste management field. We started in 2013 recycling only expandable polystyrene (packaging kaylite) now we are able to recycle six different types of household waste which include plastic paper, cardboard, mealie meal sacks, PET bottles (500mls , 2litre)  & extruded polystyrene (food kaylite),” he said.

“The machinery used to process the waste was designed by my father Mr Cowen Manyonga who is Director of a metal fabrication company called Home Security Professionals,  who took the idea of recycling polystyrene very well and designed a mill to process the waste. not only have Zimbabweans embraced technology they are taking it to a whole new level. This machinery acts as a mill that breaks down the polystyrene into small usable balls if it’s EPS and pieces if it’s XPS – extruded polystyrene,” he said.

Temp Bag stool

Manyonga’s Temp Bag is a globally acclaimed award winning product that grabbed two accolades. In 2013, the Temp bag was awarded the Best Creative Award at the Global Entrepreneurship Week before clinching the top spot at the Smart Energy Innovations Challenge in 2016.

“Not only have we added class to this product, we have also made improvements as it can now stole and keep cool most of your product during the hot African days,” he says.

Last year, his company signed a deal  with a leading Tobacco seedling producer in Zimbabwe, Tobacco Research Board or Kutsaga Seeds.

The partnership will see unique innovations solving a problem troubling the tobacco seedling giant for the past decade.

Polystyrene float tray waste will be recycled into insulation for TEMP BAG products. The deal will see Kutsaga Seeds marketing TEMB BAG products to its market which are mostly farmers. This will likely positively affect most of the farmers daily lives given the immense benefits that the TEMP BAG products being with the most important being energy conservation.

Popularly known as Mr Temp BAG, Manyonga told TechnoMag that recycling the polystyrene float trays is better than disposal which is time consuming.

“Tobacco seedlings are raised in Polystyrene Float Trays. With time these trays get broken and have to be disposed.

“They hasn’t been an environment friendly way to dispose them. In the past decades. Until we struck a deal with Kutsaga Seeds or Tobacco Research Board to process their float tray waste and use it to make TEMP BAG products,” he said.

He added that Kutsaga will leverage on publicity to be offered to farmers.

“In return Kutsaga gets to publicise the products to its clientele which are mostly farmers . Farmers can get immense benefits from these bags which can reduce the amount of fuel energy used by up to 30% , reduce deforestation , time spent collecting fire wood which will be used for other house chores, less smoke inhaled thus reduced respiratory illnesses, imagine food can be carried to the field whilst it piping hot and the best one Ice cold frozen water can stay cold in the bag for upto a week, they can keep water or meat cold even if they don’t have electricity,” he said.

Manyonga urged companies to embrace environmentally friendly solutions.

“But the idea behind this is to encourage more companies to embrace Unique Innovations as Green Partner where by we give them solutions to the waste they produce we have a list of targeted companies whose waste can be turned into useful products,” he said.

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