While the recycling industry has undoubtedly played a pivotal role in reducing waste and conserving resources, it is not without its flaws. From opaque supply chains to inadequate regulations, the sector faces numerous challenges that hinder its potential to create innovations.
In an exclusive interview, Mr. Leon Nduwayezu discussed the challenges that threaten the recycling sector in general and how his company is prepared to overcome these obstacles. He serves as the CEO of AgroPlast Ltd, a recycling company that has been operating in Rwanda since2015.
What are the challenges that threaten the Recycling sector in general?
Mr. Leon Nduwayezu: When examining the overall picture and considering environmental protection policies on a global scale, it becomes evident that these laws do not allow space for innovation, particularly in the plastic recycling industry. Allow me to give you a brief example: the environmental protection law prevents us from working with items that are prohibited for use in that particular country. Specifically, laws do not support the production of plastic items. So what products will come from recycled plastics? Naturally, plastics are used to create more plastics, not metals. This becomes an obstacle to exporting when another country accepts those items. While there are other obstacles, we are determined to bring this issue to the authorities in order to find a solution.
Other challenges include the fact that our market is small, and there are security barriers in our region. Getting raw materials is also difficult for us, and the rise of the dollar presents another challenge. Therefore, there are still many obstacles to overcome.
Since you have started working in this sector, what have been your achievements?
Mr. Leon Nduwayezu: First, we have assisted in the collection of a significant amount of plastic waste throughout the country. By doing so, we have demonstrated that what is commonly referred to as pollution can be transformed into valuable resources, thereby generating employment opportunities rather than posing a problem. We have provided jobs to individuals from diverse backgrounds in Rwanda. Additionally, we have contributed to the development of our country by fulfilling our tax obligations and collaborating with others. We have accomplished a great deal, and our efforts continue.
What do you think should be done to enable this sector to actively contribute to the development and protection of the environment?
Mr. Leon Nduwayezu: Organizations that are involved with the environment should strengthen their collaboration. Instead of imposing restrictive laws, there should be supportive legislation to assist the sector. Those working in this sector should come together to facilitate the exchange of ideas, share knowledge, and effectively address challenges they encounter.
What are the future plans to ensure the Company’s vision is achieved?
Mr. Leon Nduwayezu: We have decided to expand our operations in order to increase productivity, invest more in meeting the needs of Rwandans, and open from the local market to the regional market.