Center for Regenerative Design and Collaboration (CRDC) announced its plastic-to-concrete invention at the recent Sustainable Brands Oceans congress in Porto. The news was delivered by Donald Thomson, founder and CEO of CRDC, Paul Clements-Hunt of The Blended Capital Group in London and Kevin James, CEO of GCX Africa. They explained how the planet could be rid from unmanaged and unrecycled plastic waste (‘tragic’ plastic) through this technology, which can turn any plastic – dirty or clean and in any form – into the very building blocks of sustainable development. The CRDC process involves efficient upcycling of massive industrial quantities of plastic waste and enriching it into a synthetic construction aggregate that is lighter in weight and more durable than conventional concrete.
This is a practical solution that, using unmanaged (‘tragic’) plastic waste, can be used in a variety of concrete products to build quality housing and civil infrastructure that can prosper over the long term. It is tried, tested, in operation, and primed for immediate global expansion.
CRDC is working with three of the founding members of The Alliance to End Plastic Waste, (the petroleum’s industry’s organization that has established a US$1.5-billion fund to help resolve the tragic plastic problem); CRDC is also working with one of the world’s largest brokers of recycled materials; with a significant player in the food and beverage industry; with Habitat for Humanity; with the Ocean Recovery Alliance; with leading construction and concrete companies in various markets around the world (for example PEDREGAL in Costa Rica and Latin America); and with municipalities and governments in order to form an effective international alliance to ensure the scalable roll-out of the technology as a global solution to the plastic waste problem the planet faces.
- The CRDC product is a Pre-Conditioned Resin Aggregate (PRA) that incorporates regenerated waste plastic particles combined with a standard sand-cement mixture to produce a highly resistant, durable cement or cement block.
- Just one CRDC facility and plant would eliminate 11 760 tons of plastic per annum; produce 13 400 tons of PRA (pre-conditioned resin aggregate) per annum; and produce 268 800 tons of concrete containing 5% PRA per annum.
- This new aggregate (PRA) can be used in any building application (from quality affordable houses to infrastructure) and will turn ‘tragic’ plastic into a valuable commodity for industrial and commercial use.
- The technology and the concrete aggregate products have been tested rigorously, are backed by two years of extensive case studies, and meet all stringent building application standards in the US, Africa and Latin America.
- This has far-reaching benefits for the environment. It is a circular economic solution with impeccable ESG (environment, social and governance) credentials.
CRDC’s CEO, Donald Thomson says: “At a time when the world is in outcry about ‘tragic plastic’ in our oceans, we have created not only a fool-proof solution but also a game-changer for using plastic waste in a commercially viable manner. This is a full scalable zero-waste solution for the effective recovery and re-use of plastic.
“The objective is to create a platform whereby single-use plastics may be transitioned into a supply stream for high-quality construction materials while providing a solution to two of the world´s most pressing issues: the recovery of waste plastics from the environment and the global housing deficit.
The long-term aim is for CRDC’s PRA to become a new industrial feedstock aggregate for the construction industry. From a socio-economic perspective, its greatest value lies in its potential to develop quality social housing as well as infrastructure.