There are a tonne of initiatives around that aim to help cut down on the growing amounts of plastic waste in our oceans and our landfills. We’ve written about many of them here at RESET: from a recycled flip-flop art project to the company producing edible six-pack rings. And it’s a good thing too, considering the fact that we produce over 300 million tonnes of plastic waste a year, a figure that is predicted to double within the next 10 years. We’re only recycling a tiny amount: an estimated 8 percent. What is it exactly that happens with the plastic waste when it gets collected? How can we reuse it in the most efficient and least-damaging way possible?
The US startup ByFusion has a cool new idea. They’ve developed a machine that compacts plastic waste together, without the use of glue or any additional materials, making blocks that serve as an alternative building material. In this way, the plastic waste generated within a city can be transformed into blocks and used locally for construction and infrastructure projects, supporting community-based circular economies and creating jobs within the local area.
The plastic blocks, named RePlast, can be pressed into various forms depending on how they are going to be used. The pressing machine is possible to transport, and can be powered either by gas or electricity. Unlike normal recycling processes, using this technology, the plastics don’t have to be cleaned or sorted. The production process is eco-friendly, with no harmful substances produced at any stage.
Good for Us, Oceans, and the Climate
While RePlast blocks won’t be used for building houses, they can be useful for constructing walls and roadside barriers. Although the idea is an impressive one, plastic doesn’t have the same properties and concrete, and it can only take a certain amount of weight before deforming. But ByFusion is already planning to develop the plastic blocks further in order to expand their use. gGreat news, considering their CO2 footprint is up to 95 per cent smaller than other comparable building materials.
What do the plastic presses look like exactly? And the RePlast blocks that they produce? ByFusion shows you in the short video below:
This article was translated from the original by Hanadi that appeared on our German-language platform.