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This company turns piles of plastic waste into building blocks

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Plastic pollution is surging and becoming an increasingly overwhelming problem. It is estimated that by 2040, 710 million tonnes of solid plastic waste will clog the Earth’s ecosystems in oceans, rivers and land.

Los Angeles-based startup ByFusion has a plan for its waste. In fact, the business has created a system that collects the most troublesome kind of plastic waste – the one that cannot be recycled.

Founded in 2017, the company has developed a machine that turns single-use plastic into something called “ByBlock.” Similar in size and shape to concrete blocks commonly used in construction, his ByBlocks are made entirely of recycled plastic waste.

ByFusion CEO Heidi Kujawa told CNN Business: “What’s interesting about our technology is that we’ve designed the system entirely around everything that has low value, no value, and can’t be recycled.”

While researching plastic waste, Kujawa learned that there are seven types of plastic, of which only two can be recycled. “Before, we used to go to China and other places to buy it from us,” she said. I have filled it in.”

Called the Blocker System, ByFusion’s machine converts discarded waste into building blocks without sorting or pre-cleaning, which are major obstacles in the plastic recycling process.

After collecting the waste, it only takes a few minutes to shred the plastic and fuse it into a solid block using steam and compression. Blocks are made without additives or fillers. 22 pounds of plastic make 22 pounds of ByBlock bricks.

“We modeled ByBlocks to the dimensions of a hollow cement block, each a 16-inch-by-8-inch-by-8-inch unit,” says Kujawa, with each brick weighing about 10 pounds more than a standard cement block. Lightweight.

Cement blocks have reinforcing bars running through them, but ByBlocks uses a method that requires steel bars called post tensioning. As a sustainable choice for building materials, recycled plastic can be used for commercial, residential, and infrastructure projects, Kujawa said.

To that end, we would like to partner with local governments, municipalities, and companies. Already selling both the Blocker System and his finished ByBlocks, he has so far declined to identify customers or sales figures.

“From the beginning, we wanted to be as carbon neutral as possible, so our blocks, systems and manufacturing processes are now all-electric and emission-free processes,” said Kujawa. I’m here.

ByFusion wants to partner with local governments, municipalities and businesses to reduce plastic waste worldwide and adopt sustainable building practices and materials.

The ultimate goal, she said, is to introduce the Blocker system to communities around the world so that local building projects can reuse plastic waste. ByFusion wants to recycle 100 million tons of plastic by 2030.

“Every community suffers from plastic waste,” said Kujawa. “Insert a blocker [System] Helping reduce landfills, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce transportation needs and all other good things. ”