Tanuri is a low-tech heated press that creates corrugated sheets from recycled plastic. Plastic is the dominating material in today‘s product landscape. Without it, modern life as we know it would not be possible.
Plastic suffers a very bad image among the majority of people. This derives from the fact that in many regions of the world, the correct disposal and recycling of plastic is missing. This causes massive environmental pollution for nature and urban areas alike. In order to maintain today´s standard of living, to preserve nature and keep urban areas clean and healthy, it is essential to close the recycling circuit. In the slums of Nairobi we understood that the main reason for pollution is a missing waste collection process.
Tanuri is a low cost machine that gives people the possibility to create their own local recycling circle. This enables the people to shape second hand plastic into helpful items or construction material. Therefore plastic garbage is collected from the street, sorted and melted into new designs.
As an example we developed a mold for tiles in the shape of a corrugated iron sheet. Iron sheet metal is the mostly used material to build huts in the slums. Although it is cheap, it´s neither durable nor easy to repair. Tanuri tiles facilitate easy repair and provide an alternative construction material that resembles the original form.
Together with the children of the Love School we collected bottle caps which litter the streets of Nairobi. After sorting them, the kids arranged the caps by color. Caps forming patterns, rainbows and flowers were then melted together and later pressed into the corrugation.
During our team work we saw highly motivated kids and adults. We saw a fascination about hands-on work and creating things. And we saw the wish to solve local problems in a self-organised approach. We realized that the step to improve the waste and housing situation is not out of reach. With a little attention and support small projects could be a start to transform two problems into a solution.