Towards Sustainable Development through material innovation and circular economy


The Egypt-based start-up Plastale produces composite materials for different applications out of local plastic and crop waste. Their recycling process aims to be energy and cost efficient, and the start-up focuses also on creating social impact through collaboration with local communities and local waste collectors. For these reasons, Plastale has been chosen as the ISC3 Start-up of the Month for September 2023.

Year of Foundation:


Addresses the following SDGs:

SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities), SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production), SDG 15 (live on land), SDG 14 (live below water), and SDG 13 (climate action)


Picture of Abdallah Mohamed, founder of Plastale. Man smiling at camera with trees in the background.
Abdallah-Mohamed, CEO and Co-Founder
Amna Ramzy, Innovation & Research Consultant and Academic Mentor
men in suit smiling at the camera
Karim Waly Co-Founder & COO

From university project to business

“The idea of Plastale’s innovation popped up back in 2018, when we were doing a university project with Enactus in the field of social entrepreneurship. Part of the project were site visits where we saw that in the rural community of Giza, there was a lot of plastic and crop waste. At the same time, the local people didn't have proper shelters with rooftops,” Abdallah Mohamed (founder of Plastale) started.

They saw an opportunity in plastic waste and got inspired by the Precious Plastic project that is tackling plastic waste by offering business ideas, manuals for building recycling machines as well as a market place for machines, moulds and products made of recycled plastics. And so, Plastale team constructed the necessary machines and started to produce stationery & giveaways products for the unemployed youth in the local community, so that they were able to generate income by working with Plastale on production. Spotting the need for proper roof tops in those local communities, with the help of the unemployed youth, Plastale successfully built two rooftops from the village’s plastic waste. After that, they started to develop more products for application in the construction, interior design and furniture. During the development, Plastale team noticed the potential in the composite material made of plastic waste and agricultural waste and they started to work on it as well. Currently, they have two main products for different applications – the composite material made of recycled plastics and another one that combines plastics and agricultural waste. “We named our start-up Plastale - that comes from “plastics” and “tale” is related to the green color in ancient Egypt. It reflects the development growth what we are targeting through material innovation and circular economy”, Abdallah explained.

Multi-application recycled plastic composites

Plastale uses hot-press compression moulding and extrusion compounding processes to turn the chemically pre-treated crop residue waste and the plastic waste into desired composite materials. The plastic waste can be either transformed alone as sheets or it can be mixed with the crop waste. They started with date palm waste to create reinforced recycled plastic composite material. Those sheets can be used in multiple applications like furniture, interior design and construction. Plastale is developing an energy model using renewable energy sources and enhanced heating mechanism like utilizing heat exchangers to reduce their operational carbon dioxide emissions and to enable savings on the operational costs. The start-up considers the recyclability and reusability of their materials as well: If a part of the sheet reaches its end of life, it can be cut it and the remaining of the sheet can be still used for something else. If it's completely has reached its end of life, both materials can be separated and sold as a source material for other products or they can be recycled again into the sheets for different applications. For furniture, the produced sheets do not need the same durability as the one for interior design applications and construction and hence it can be used for tabletops, for example. “Our aim is to create a platform to collaborate with interior designers and corporates to utilize their own ways to innovate with either plastic and or the crop waste they generate in the value chain to produce products that can be fit back into the value chain and apply circular economy as a result,” Abdallah stated.

Plastale works with local suppliers of plastic waste. In that way the transportation and related costs are massively reduced, and the start-up is also creating a social impact because they are securing the income of the local suppliers who are collecting and sorting the waste. Plastale is also considering to work with Plastic Bank initiative which focuses on collecting plastic waste from the Nile river and also works on the social aspect of plastic waste. Beyond that, Plastale is aiming to empower the local communities to build proper rooftops or cladding systems for their shelters, community schools as well as furniture. For this reason, they are aiming to get certifications for building applications. Plastale’s material is a good alternative for wood use, because wood in Egypt has very high price, especially because it is imported. Beyond that, Plastale is using the agricultural waste generated from farmers in the communities as a source for the composite material. The idea is to transfer and improve the model that was the starting point for the above-mentioned university project: The start-up provides small-scale recycling machines for the young people in the communities and teach them how to recycle plastic waste and generate income from selling the final products of interior design accessories, stationery & giveways products. Part of their strategy is to collaborate with NGOs and also with other African countries, specifically, to duplicate the model. In order to implement that, Plastale focuses on capacity building and also to secure some capital and to reach commercialization level.

Next steps at Plastale

Plastale has more collaborations in view - recently, they collaborated with a startup called Upfuse and Nestlé to produce jewellery from plastic waste. Another potential project called Light Box focuses on alternative material for the cladding of the boxes or containers to be installed in local farms or rural areas to be used as decentralized renewable energy units, on which solar panels are installed. Plastale proposed to use their material as a more environmentally friendly option. They are now in the R&D phase of this project. Lately, they started a collaboration with SADKO, a national company that is introducing a new line for kitchen boards. They are interested in Plastale's material to produce different kitchen boards. To be able to accomplish all the mentioned projects, Plastale is focusing on capacity building, hiring more staff, and accessing funding or capital to upscale their production capacity.With their innovative approach, Plastale, who joined the ISC3 Global Start-up Service in February 2020, actively contributes to SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities), SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production), SDG 15 (live on land), SDG 14 (live below water), and SDG 13 (climate action).

Logo of Plastale - a green triangle