Developers see hope in the use of plastic waste in concrete

Between 2 and 10 percent of the concrete mix can be Resin8 for structural applications, and that percentage goes up to 30 percent for non-structural applications, he said.

Given the amount of concrete used each year, the potential appetite for Resin8 is huge.

“I have always firmly believed that the best thing waste plastic can be used for is to build cherish assets in quality housing, especially for those in need of housing,” he said.

A key to the effort, Thomson said, is getting both construction companies and waste disposal companies on board with regional projects to ensure plastic supplies and end-use.

The idea for Resin8 stems from Thomson’s earlier work, in which he designed water bottles that could then be used empty as construction tiles in developing countries.

“We quickly realized that we were working to solve this problem, and making a water bottle that turns into a building tile probably wouldn’t change the world. It was the right thing. It was right to have this experience to learn that building is probably the right area to move into, ”he said.

With that in mind, Thomson was able to dive into this larger project. “It cleared our minds to see how we could use all of the plastic. Do essentially the same thing, but maybe in a better way, ”he said. “That bottle was definitely the kick starter.”

The alliance is loaning CRDC a total of $ 4.8 million to build the new Pennsylvania facility and expand the pilot facility in Costa Rica. The soft loan is exactly what the fledgling effort needs to get the economy up and running, Thomson said. “The financial support from Allianz was enormous. The alliance itself is an incredible industry entity. I don’t think there has ever been anything like it. “

The alliance also sees the global potential of the technology created by CRDC.

“Allianz is committed to ending plastic waste in the environment – which means finding viable solutions to drive a circular economy and ensure that it can be scaled up. Together with CRDC, we can help increase the environmental, economic and social value of plastics that are difficult to recycle, ”said Jacob Duer, CEO of Allianz. “We are excited to bring this solution to the North and Central American markets with the goal of bringing it to a global audience.”

He sees the potential of Resin8 as considerable and far-reaching – as worldwide. CRDC has spent the past few years refining the process and making connections that it hopes will give a far-reaching go-ahead. In addition to these two locations, there is another pilot plant in Cape Town, South Africa.

“Now that we’re at it, our goal is to get as many of these plants built as quickly as possible,” said Thomson.

Resin8 has been used to build hundreds of Habitat for Humanity homes in Costa Rica. Adding the material makes building materials up to 15 percent lighter or stronger with up to 20 percent better insulation, depending on the application.

“I think we are pleased that we are now convinced that this product can be used at the end of its life,” said Thomson. “It’s circularity, but it’s circularity in the long run. We can take anything [plastic] Waste stream now and we can create [these] Assets, long-term assets that are really needed by society while we clean up the environment at the same time. In reality, this is not the case with all recycling processes. We feel we have a hopeful and practical way to move forward, ”said Thomson.

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