Plastic waste may be designed out of packaging in the long term but there is a massive global problem right now. Our solution is to design high-volume end products with humanitarian applications and pioneer the production methods and technologies in low resource and post disaster contexts. Items such as insulating polymer wool, paving bricks, insulating floor tiles, plastic roof tiles and cavity wall insulation can all be produced from the waste plastics and packaging found all over the world.
Making useful end products from basic technologies that are replicable globally ensures that markets for waste packaging and plastic emerge and that existing plastic waste is cleaned up simply by creating a demand for the plastics.
Plastic insulation is made using the Polyfloss plastics recycling process, which turns thermoplastics into a kind of polymer wool with excellent insulating properties. The machine is fully deployable and can be run from a solar panel and LPG gas bottle.
Plastic tiles for rooves and insulation are created using mixed waste plastics including PET, HDPE, LDPE and PP. These are mixed and compression moulded into a useful shape using simple hand operated machines.
Paving bricks and plastic wall bricks are created using PET plastic mixed with a sand and gravel aggregate and heated. The resulting product is superior in performance, uses less aggregate and is 40% lighter than conventional concrete based alternatives.
All machines involved in creating these products can be constructed locally and cheaply.
The project is being led by Field Ready Nepal, Nepal Innovation Lab and Rural Development Initiative.