New-Zealand-based inventor Peter Lewis’ RePlast turns plastic waste into walls. The modular system is at the centre of ByFusion, a US-based company that converts 100 per cent plastic waste into an alternative building material. The problem of plastic waste is a mammoth one. According to statistics by the World Economic Forum, by the year 2050, there will be more plastic waste in our oceans than there are fish. So innovations that turn could turn mountains of trash into functional products are crucial to our handling of the problem.
The RePlast machine turns any type of plastic waste into a RePlast block. Unlike regular concrete, the blocks do not require glue or any other adhesive. While they’re currently made in the shape of traditional concrete blocks, RePlast blocks can be customised to multiple shapes and densities. Because the system is modular, it is portable. It’s designed to run on gas or electric and doesn’t require the plastic to be sorted or washed.
These sustainable bricks could represent the next wave of sustainable construction. Other eco-friendly projects include clay bricks made out of discarded cigarette butts by Australia’s RMIT University; EcoBricks, two-litre plastic bottles stuffed with unrecyclable material and the Eco-BLAC brick, a low-cost and eco-friendly alternative made out of industrial waste.