Building the future with trash, plastic brick launched in Cape TownA plastic brick and resin aggregate made from regenerated plastic could be about to change the way we build. [image: James Richardson] by James Richardson
Image via Pixabay
Donald Thompson CEO of The Center of Regenerative Design and Collaboration is set to launch the new and EcoArena Pre-Conditioned Resin Aggregate (PRA) and Ecoblock, a building material made from recycled plastic.
The product will be introduced to South Africa through an investor and partner roundtable to be held in Cape Town in early April, and promises a constructive solution to our country’s plastic waste problem.
The product makes use of what they term ” regenerated waste plastic particles combined with a standard sand-cement mixture to produce a highly resistant, durable cement or cement block.”
The Ecoblocks and PRA are intended to be lighter and more durable than traditional cement and cinder blocks. They claim the product will increase thermal properties of walls and offer the same level of fire resistance as standard concrete. AlsoRead Captive lion breeding in South Africa: The case for a total ban
The product was test in Costa Rica and will be launched alongside planned work with the Ocean Recovery Alliance
The project promises to put more of the 1.5-million tonnes of plastic that South Africa consumes per year to use. It is estimated that currently South Africa recycles just 21 percent of that plastic waste with most of it ending up in landfills and/or the ocean.
Thompson also believes the project will generates jobs in South Africa’s well developed building sector and reduce that are of our economy’s carbon foot print.
“In South Africa, there is an established and sophisticated cement industry. Against this, we need to create jobs, we need to clean up the environment and there is an urgent need for housing. Our plan is to use the Costa Rican model to initially launch in the Western Cape before rolling out the initiative nationally,” said Thompson.
Sales and Marketing Director of PEDREGAL, a cement manufacturer in Costa Rica that have tested and employed the product, David Zamora, said:
“This breakthrough in transforming plastic and using it in the same way as you would conventional aggregate is a game-changer. Not only can we conduct our business in a more sustainable way but also we can also help solve one of the biggest problems we have created as human beings – that of plastic contamination. This is the very essence of our circular economy – one in which the construction industry is helping the plastic industry solve a waste problem by turning it into a raw material that can be used in any construction on the planet.”
Thompson hopes that in the future our plastic waste can not only be transformed into building materials but help stimulate the economy.
“The objective is to create a platform whereby single-use plastics may be transitioned into a supply stream for high-quality construction materials while providing a solution to two of the world´s most pressing issues: the recovery of waste plastics from the environment and the global housing deficit. Every sector of society, including the underprivileged and homeless, stands to benefit from the application of this innovation and plan,” he said.
CRDC will be testing EcoArena PRA with two major concrete manufacturers in the Western Cape as well as another major South African cement producer.
The Center of Regenerative Design made an appearance at the recent Design Indaba in Cape Town.