From reducing our energy bills to making our vehicles more fuel-efficient, plastic contributes immensely in making our everyday life convenient and creating a sustainable environment. However, given the global plastic waste issue, there is an increasing need to responsibly dispose of plastic. In an effort to curb the plastic waste crisis, a chemical-based company known as Dow Chemical has launched an initiative to use plastic waste to build schools in Colombia.
Dow Chemical partnered with a Colombian startup company, Conceptos Plásticos, to build schools in rural communities using bricks made from plastic waste. The construction model of the schools is such that it amplifies the energy efficiency and durability of the classrooms and the construction process. For instance, the plastic roof reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 30% and its durability ensures enhanced safety for the students. So far, three schools have been built using 12 tons of plastic waste that were hard to recycle. They aim to build 15 schools by the end of 2019.
The schools are build by implementing a unique process that converts plastic waste that is hard to recycle into bricks. These plastic bricks are then arranged in a way to form a constructive system when connected with columns and beams. Almost 70% of each plastic brick is created from plastic waste such as cups, lids, straws, packaging films, and containers. With 12 tons of plastic waste that were recovered locally to build the schools, the construction system aims to recover 4000 tons of plastic annually. This will be equivalent to the reuse of 535,000 kilowatts of energy, 770,000 liters of water and 13,000 tons of carbon dioxide.
According to Daniella Souza Miranda, the vice president of plastics (P&SP) in Latin America, the biggest challenge and opportunity is to apply this successful construction model to different regions of the world. Dow chemical plans to expand the initiative to other communities and regions of the world that are impacted by plastic waste pollution.
With such incredible efforts undertaken to reuse plastic waste to build a sustainable environment, it makes us wonder what else is in store for the future of humanity and plastic. If you are in the plastic industry, then Plastivision is a great platform for you to showcase your product range and network with industry professionals. Book your booth today!