American startup ByFusion turns plastic waste into concrete alternative

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

Byfuse

We still live in a world where disposables and single-use plastics dominate. Plastic waste has long been an environmental issue, with more than 9 billion tonnes produced since the 1950s. Plastic is not biodegradable and can remain in landfills or oceans for decades, polluting the environment and harming wildlife. While there are efforts to reduce and reuse plastic, not all plastics are recyclable.

American startup ByFusion, is one of the many innovative companies on a mission to put discarded plastic into good use – by turning plastic waste into a concrete alternative called “ByBlock”.

The company uses a patented “Blocker system” that uses steam and compression to turn plastic waste into construction blocks without using chemicals. 

To create the blocks, the company first collects plastic waste from initiatives like ocean clean-up operations, material recovery facilities (MRF), and local communities. Then, the plastic is shredded into smaller pieces and superheated using steam, fusing the material into the finished blocks with a dimension of 40 cm x 20 cm x 20 cm, weighing 10kg each. 

Compared to other forms of recycling, the system works with nearly any kind of plastic, including fishnets, except Styrofoam. And because the plastic isn’t melted but fused using steam, it doesn’t require any glue, adhesive, or mortar.

ByFuse
ByFusion

According to the company, ByBlock generates 41 per cent fewer greenhouse emissions than concrete, and they don’t crumble or crack like standard cement. In addition, the system doesn’t need special training to operate. 

The blocks produced are construction-grade and can be used for walls, sheds, furniture, and landscaping. 

“Byblock enables communities, corporations, and governments to make use of their plastic waste while cleaning up the planet,” said the company “Our blocker systems create jobs, improve infrastructure, and revitalize neighbourhoods everywhere.”

To date, the company has turned 103 tonnes of plastic waste into ByBlocks, with a goal of recycling 100 million tonnes by 2030.

Other plastic recycling initiatives featured in Viable Earth include Lego bricks made from plastic bottles and adult toys made from ocean-bound plastic.

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

A digital content manager based in the Philippines, Kaycee Enerva has written for multiple publications over several years. A graduate of Computer Science, she exchanged a career in IT to pursue her passion for writing. She's slowly practicing sustainability through period cups, and eating more plant-based food.

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