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Recycled Plastic Building Material Could Replace Concrete, Steel and Timber


A UK-based company called i-plas has invented a building material—also called i-plas—made from recycled plastic that could replace concrete, steel, and timber. I-plas can make use of any type of plastic waste except for PVC and thermoset.

According to i-plas (the company), producing 1 ton of i-plas (the product) from landfill waste saves 1.66 tons of CO2 emissions. In contrast, producing 1 ton of concrete generates nearly a ton of CO2.

I-plas can be used for bridges, walls, fences, footpaths, and more. It doesn’t splinter or chip and requires no varnishing or coating since it is moisture-resistant. The fungible material can be made either hard or soft depending on the waste materials used in its production.

You can expect to see more of i-plas in the near future— the company is planning seven new production facilities and hopes to supply the 2012 Olympics.

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Written By

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.


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