Eco Friendly Bricks

 

It is not news to anyone that there is A LOT of plastic on Earth. Much of this plastic is dubbed “single use”, meaning it is only used once before it is thrown away. What if there was a way to make this material more than just a single use item while also providing benefits to people? 

 

Action has already been undertaken to make this idea a reality! Enter eco-friendly bricks, a building material made out of post-consumer plastics. These eco-friendly bricks are commonly made by melting the plastic which would otherwise go to landfill, mixing it with sand, and applying pressure and heat to create a brick*.

 

With 400 millions tons of plastic waste being produced annually**, eco-friendly bricks have the potential to divert some of that into building material. Currently, a common use for them is as pavers***.

 

While there seem to be many advantages with this new building material, including them being sturdier than plastic bricks***, there are potential concerns and considerations with their use, including ability to stick with mortar, deforming under pressure, and the impacts of melting plastics on the atmosphere****. With that being said, there is a lot of room for innovation with the creation of eco-friendly bricks to expand the benefits they provide while minimizing negative impacts.

 

Nzambi Matee, a Kenyan engineer and winner of the UN Environmental Programme Young Champion of the Earth 2020, is one of the leaders in creating recycled material bricks. Check out more information on her work here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbZKP4UAtL8

 

*https://phys.org/news/2022-03-trash-kenyan-inventor-plastic-bricks.html 

**https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/06/recycling-global-statistics-facts-plastic-paper/ 

***https://www.icfi.nl/blog/converting-plastic-waste-into-building-materials 

****https://tinyurl.com/IRJETstudyofplasticbricks 

 

Author : Rachel Wright 

 

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