This startup is turning waste plastic into recycled bricks
One thing in the world that is definitely not in short supply, is waste plastic. What if we were able to take that waste product, and turn it into something useful? Well, that’s exactly what New York based startup ByFusion is aiming to do with its products, that provide a novel solution for tackling the growing problem of ocean plastic.
The process is relatively simple. ByFusion takes plastic waste in any shape or form, feeds it into its machine (kind of like a giant washing machine) and creates blocks, known as RePlast. These are the same size and shape as the conventional concrete blocks most commonly used in construction projects. However, they are significantly more eco-friendly to make than concrete blocks, with a much smaller carbon footprint. Whilst the load bearing properties are still no match for concrete, the product do have some other exciting properties. They require no adhesives, and are strong insulators.
“RePlast blocks have incredible thermal characteristics in terms of sound and heat transfer,” says Gregor Gomory ByFusion CEO. “We envisage using them with normal building frames as fill. Our initial testing shows that they blow traditional cement blocks out of the water.” The blocks require no glues or adhesives, they can contribute to LEED certification for construction and they possess a 95 percent lower greenhouse gas emission footprint when compared to concrete blocks. “In theory, we’re looking at an absolute definition of a circular economy, whereby plastic waste washing up in local communities gets processed and used in local community centres or on roadways”
Although it’s unlikely you’ll be seeing recycled ocean plastics being used in home construction down the street anytime soon, the product is definite step in the right direction towards more sustainable green building materials.