This solution addresses utilizing single use plastics in construction in Global for Underprivileged communities

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Problem Description

Single use plastics are a big part of the problem of waste management in underprivileged communities but with the right organization and systems they can be utilized to improve the communities infatructure. By filling bottles with soft plastic waste and coming them with little cement and mud, they can be used to build retaining walls, steps, houses raised garden beds and many other structures. Empty bottles can be used to build roofs and walls that with allow light to enter.

Sustainable Development Goals

On September 25th 2015, countries adopted a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years. This solution covers the following goals:

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  • Eco- Brick

    Eco-bricks, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles filled with mixed inorganic waste, have become a low cost construction material and a valid recycling method to reduce waste disposal in regions where industrial recycling is not yet available. Because Eco-bricks are filled with mixed recovered materials, potential recycling of its constituents is difficult at the end of its life. This study proposes considering Eco-bricks filled with a single inorganic waste material to work as a time capsule, with potential for recovering the filling material when other ways of waste valorization are available within those communities that currently have no better recycling options. This paper develops an experimental characterization of density, filler content (by volume), thermal shrinkage, elastic modulus and deformation recovery capacity using four different filler materials: 1) PET; 2) paper & cardboard; 3) tetrapack; and 4) metal. Overall, Eco-brick’s density, thermal shrinkage and elastic modulus are dependent on the filler content. Density and elastic modulus of the proposed Eco-bricks are similar to values of medium-high density expanded polystyrene (EPS) used in nonstructural construction, reason why we suggest that these Eco-bricks might be a sustainable alternative to EPS or other nonstructural construction materials.

Solution Stage

One of the 7 stages of an innovation. Learn more
Changing systems7
Strong leadership and management, and identification and traning of new leaders and teams
  • Building networks
  • Calibrating markets
  • Changing behaviour
  • Changing laws and regulations
  • Understanding interaction of technologies
  • Map potential unintended effects
  • Multiple financial systems requiring potential rewiring
  • Possible outcome-based funding
New definitions of and measures for efficiency and impact are created
A transformation in the way we do things

Key Details

Sustainable Development Goals
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