A Nigerian entrepreneur who collects household plastic and transforms it to commercial products received the Outstanding Achievement Award as part of the Shell LiveWIRE Top Ten Innovators 2018 awards.

During an award ceremony held by Shell Nigeria in Port Hartcourt, Bakumor Yolo, managing director of De-Rabacon Plastics Enterprise received $10,000 and a plaque celebrating his company’s achievements. This is an exclusive award ceremony for him, as Yolo unfortunately couldn’t attend the Top Ten Innovators event in Malaysia back in November.

“This is a big deal for my business, and I’m grateful and humbled by the award,” Yolo said. “It’s a fantastic endorsement that puts De-Rabacon on the map! It also inspires me to work even harder to advance the business and create even more milestones.”

Based in Yenagoa, De-Rabacon collects plastic from households and transforms it into a range of commercial products, such as pipes, shopping bags, jewellery, and more. Plastic waste can overwhelm drainage systems, contributing to flooding. When disposed in landfills, plastic can produce toxins that pollute soil and groundwater. When burned, plastic is a dangerous source of air pollution.

De-Rabacon makes it easy for households in Yenagoa to get rid of their plastic safely. With one phone call, they can arrange for De-Rabacon to collect the waste. De-Rabacon then uses that plastic to create new products they can sell on the open market.

Thanks to training, mentoring, and seed funding from Shell LiveWIRE Nigeria, De-Rabacon has collected plastic from approximately 500 households, employs 6 permanent and 16 casual staff, and trained 47 persons. With this latest award, Yolo plans to purchase one new machine and hire two additional staff members. He also wants to continue developing bright ideas to upcycle waste products.

“I thank Shell for the opportunity they provide for Nigerians to be successful, globally recognised business owners,” Yolo said.

Learn more about the 2018 Top Ten Innovators on the Shell LiveWIRE website.