Kiwi company might have answer to Samoa’s plastic problem

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Dear Editor,

 

Good story on Samoa’s plastic pollution printed in your newspaper.

Here is an innovative answer from our southern neighbour in New Zealand. 

A kiwi company reckons they can turn the plastic waste into concrete building blocks for construction. The story is from Newshub. It reads:

Could this be the answer to plastic waste?

A Kiwi company believes it has come up with a solution to one of the world’s biggest environmental problems.

Enviroplaz takes plastic waste and turns it into the building blocks of construction. They look like stones, and they could soon be used to build bridges and skyscrapers.

It’s the brainchild of Peter Barrow, founding director of Enviroplaz.

“We’re basically taking just a complete mix of plastic out of the waste stream, then we’re converting it into a useable aggregate for concrete.”

It’s made from any mix of plastic and, unlike recycling, it doesn’t have to be sorted or even cleaned. It goes through a thermo mechanical process which turns it into product they call Plazrok.

It’s taken a long time to develop, over 20 years in fact, but the timing couldn’t be better.

In 2016 New Zealand sent $8.2m of waste plastic to China. But China has now banned plastic waste imports, leaving nations with the huge problem of what to do with it.

“If we can get this up and running, there would be no such thing as plastic waste,” says Mr Barrow.

“We could take every scrap of plastic you could possibly manage to get into the waste stream.”

It may help the environment, but Enviroplaz research engineer Pete Hutchinson says first and foremost the idea was to make a lighter product for the concrete industry.

“It solves an enormous amount of problems for them, you can imagine,” says Mr Hutchinson.

“If you can take, for example, 40 percent of the weight out of a building structure the engineering loads that change on that and the reduced costs in engineering are enormous.”

“It’s a win for the environment and a win for industry.”

Plazrok is currently undergoing testing and they’re looking for further investment as they plan to start production within two years.

 

Hope it helps.

 

Petelo Suaniu

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