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Turning unrecyclable plastic into building blocks

Only two types of plastic can be recycled, the rest, your pens, tooth brushes and bottle caps, to name just a few, usually end up in landfills. A Los Angeles-based startup ByFusion has come up with an innovative way of dealing with this trash. It turns it into useful and convenient construction blocks called "ByBlocks".

The company makes use of a machine called the Blocker System that transforms the waste into building blocks in minutes using steam and compression. An emissions free process that does not require the trash to be washed before use, as is the case in most recycling operations.

These recycled plastic blocks are modelled to have the same dimensions as the standard hollow concrete block of 400 x 200 x 200mm.

The ByBlocks work just as well as cement blocks, they just have one catch: they are susceptible to sunlight. However, this can easily be solved by coating them in clear paint or pairing them with a mighty weather-resistant material.

The company has a lofty goal to recycle 100 million tons of plastic by 2030. To achieve this, 12 more Blockers are expected to be installed soon across the United States.

"Every community struggles with plastic waste," ByFusion's CEO, Heidi Kujawa said. "Putting in a Blocker [System] is going to help reduce landfill, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce transportation needs, all of that other good stuff."

ByFusion now has a full production unit in L.A. that can tackle up to 450 tons of plastic per year. It is estimated that the firm has recycled 103 tons of plastic to date.

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