Plastic 2 Paint – Insect repellent paint from recycled plastics

Plastic 2 Paint – Insect repellent paint from recycled plastics

Photo: © Tony Dočekal

The student-led startup from Nigeria recycles plastic sachets into paint, and adds an organic insect repellent to fight malaria.

Most people in West Africa do not get their drinking water from the pipe at home but buy water packaged in “sachets”, thin plastic bags. After use, the sachets end up in the garbage – or the countryside. The student-led social startup P2P from the Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria tackles this problem. They use plastic as a raw material to produce a high-quality wall paint – Plastic to Paint. This reduces the environmental impact and makes efficient use of scarce raw materials.

The student founders go one step further: They add a natural insect repellent made from orange peel. That is truly innovative. The additive is unlikely to provide protection forever. But the students could prove its effectiveness already for at least 6 months.

Plastic to Paint shows how students develop innovative, sustainable business models even under challenging conditions. The Ahmadu Bello University is located in the northern part of Nigeria, which has suffered from attacks by militant groups in recent years. Plastic to Paint emerged from the university’s Enactus Startup Program with the support of thirty students. As a finalist in the ActionWithAfrica competition sponsored by the German Ministry of Cooperation, the start-up has attracted international attention despite its local focus.

Project Evaluation

😀 1. PEOPLE 75%
Does the project solve pressing societal challenges?
🌍 2. PLANET 83%
Does the project protect our environment and conserve natural resources?
Is the solution innovative, inspiring and has the power to drive real change?
🙌🏼 4. WIN-WIN 77%
Can we support the project effectively with our means?

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Contribution to the 17 Global Goals

Responsible Consumption and Production

Recycling of plastic sachets into high-quality paint

Decent Work and Economic Growth

Development of a social startup in disadvantaged region

Quality Education

Social startup incubation through the Enactus university program

Good Health and Well-Being

Fighting malaria through integrated organic insect repellent

No Poverty

Inclusive business model designed to fight poverty


Photos: © Tony Dočekal