We have so much plastic waste that even it formed an island in Pacific Ocean. We are also keep producing and consuming it, meaning we will have more and more enormous plastic islands in the future if we don’t happen to stop doing it.
Yes, we all know the problem with that, plastic is polluting our natural environment and killing our animals either with strangling or its toxic release. We really need a good solution to our plastic waste, both the one we are currently having and what we are going to produce in the future.
This is the time for innovative and clever people to step up. Actually, there are already so many solutions to convert our plastic waste into something useful and environmentally friendlier than letting it rot super slowly by itself.
We cannot rely too much on recycling since only 9% total of plastic waste ever produced are recycled. Here is one solution which can help us to use our plastic waste instead of letting it litter our planet. And for your information, any kind of plastic is welcome for this solution.
In this article, we are going to talk about using plastic waste as bricks to build plastic houses.
Boring Story About Plastic Waste
We are harming ourselves with more and more plastic consumption, but our society is already addicted to it. To cure this addiction, we need time. But time is running out, and our addiction to plastic is getting worse by time.
Yeah, yeah, we know that telling story about plastic waste is kind of boring nowadays because we have heard so many things about it. Still, littering this planet with plastic keeps happening. That’s why, we need constant reminder about this case.
First thing first, plastic cannot degrade by itself in the nature without taking centuries to do and/or releasing toxic chemicals during the process. It has happened since the discovery of plastic, and will keep on happening until the last piece of plastic is used.
Second, plastic waste is littering our planet because of its durability. We will only add up more and more plastic waste before our current plastic problem is solving itself. Our plastic waste is killing this planet slowly and somehow, we keep adding plastic waste even though we already know about it. If we keep on consuming plastic, our planet would be full of plastic.
Our planet, and humankind, would already be dead before we can cover it with our plastic waste because of its harmful nature. But again, we would tell you over and over that plastic is killing us slowly. Thanks to beautiful innovative minds out there, we have some solutions for our plastic problem before it becomes fatal, such as this innovation we are going to talk about.
The Need For Materials
Yeah, we have so much plastic waste already on this planet. But on the other hands, we still need other materials to support our lives. Take for example in housing, we need concrete, lumber, glass, steel, and many other things.
The number of human populations keeps on growing time by time, and with that we would need more and more materials to build their housings. Can you see the problems here? We need so much materials to build housings, but we throw away so much waste that highly durable, called plastic.
In addition to that, plastic is produced by consuming so much energy. By plastic, we also include single use plastic in the form of thin grocery bag, straw, wet wipes, earbuds, etc. All of those things are produced by consuming massive amount of energy and resources, all over the world.
The same with plastic, the way we ‘harvest’ materials used for housings require not less energy. We need to process the woods, we need to create brick from the ground, we need to mine minerals for it too, and many other processes that consume a lot of energy.
With so much plastic waste which is both durable and flexible, why don’t then we use it as a material to build housings? We will be able to kill two birds with one stone, this way. We can make use of our plastic waste instead of letting it litter our planet, and we can also get enough good materials. Fact is, some innovative people are already building houses with plastic waste.
Plastic Waste, The Perfect Material
This is might be one of a few articles where we praise or give good credits to plastic. This material can be used for anything because of its flexibility, starting from the brick to build house, door, window, even small bolts to make things fit together.
Take for example using plastic waste as brick. A New York based startup company, ByFusion, is currently building houses made of plastic waste. ByFusion is actually one of many companies already working on such cleanup project. The company calls their plastic construction blocks as ByBlock.
ByBlock plastic construction block can literally consist of any kind of plastic waste, including marine debris. What’s more amazing about this construction block is, there is no additional chemicals included in the making. It is purely made of plastic waste.
To apply it, we also don’t need any glue or adhesives, because of its special Lego-like design which makes it possible to directly stack one ByBlock on another in perfect fit. Basically, this innovation is a real-life-size Lego blocks made of plastic.
A Colombian company called Conceptos Plásticos also developed similar construction block. The company is working with local communities to collect plastic from all around their city and together build shelter for them.
There are lots of benefits we can get if we finally consider using plastic as an alternative material to build houses. Not only it will help us to clean the planet by using the waste we have produced, but it also has special features can be given by plastic.
First, it is cheaper because the main material is waste, which cost literally $0. Co-founder of Conceptos Plásticos, Oscar Andres Mendez, said that low-cost material can help people in need in addition to cleaning up the earth.
“We are mitigating global warming and helping to close the extreme poverty gap with a solution that has a high, social, environmental and economic impact. They want to replicate their business model in other countries,” he said.
Second, plastic construction blocks have special features such as lighter than conventional materials, excellent insulation properties, and it is basically real-life-sized Lego. It can be built and dismantled easily which will benefit people in conflict areas.
The process of building is also faster than conventional houses because we are basically building giant Lego building. In fact, to build one house, it only requires 4 people 5 days. It means we can also save more money for labor.
If you are planning to build a house, will you consider using plastic as material?