L.A.-based startup ByFusion transforms composite plastic waste into ByBlocks, a high-performing, advanced building material.
Contrary to popular belief, not all plastic can be recycled. Even if its placed into the recycling stream, hundreds of tons of plastic waste end up in landfills each year. A startup based in Los Angeles has come up with a solution to this needless waste. By transforming nonrecyclable composite plastics into durable construction blocks they call ByBlocks, ByFusion has so far diverted 103 tons of plastic waste from landfills. The company was founded in 2017 to develop efficient ways to convert waste into high-performing, advanced building materials. Its business model creates jobs, improves infrastructure and revitalizes neighborhoods, Good News Network reports.
"Plastic was not invented to be thrown away," the firm's website reads. "Plastic is strong, flexible, and built to last. This is why plastic isn’t the problem. The problem is that we didn’t have a good plan for its future. So now it is packed into landfills, burned at the edges of towns sending toxic smoke into the air, and there are continents of it floating at sea killing precious wildlife. Enough is enough." Therefore, ByFusion invented and patented "Blockers." These are machines that shred plastic and then apply mass multiplied by acceleration repeatedly. The end result is a durable mass of plastic, developed by essentially fusing together tons of nonrecyclable plastic.
These machines do not use any type of adhesive glue, mortar, or any kind of extra substance. Blockers are particularly inventive as they can turn almost any material into ByBlocks, from plastic bottles to fishing nets. At present, the only materials they cannot tackle are polystyrene (more popularly known as Styrofoam). They come in two different sizes. The first is an industrial size, which features an array of Blockers for companies that plan to work with large amounts of plastic waste. The second size, which comes in a shipping container, is aimed at communities.
According to the company, the Blocker machines can consistently convert all types of plastic waste into a high-performing, advanced building material which enables communities, corporations, and governments to make use of their plastic waste while cleaning up the planet. ByBlocks can be used in all forms of construction, including bus stops, fences, retaining walls, curtain walls, public terraces, and more. While experts attempt to develop thermal or chemical methods of separating the polymers in these materials to allow them to be recycled, ByFusion has discovered a more immediate solution.
Already, the firm's full-service operation in Los Angeles can process up to 450 tons of plastic per year into ByBlocks. Soon, ByFusion hopes to install 12 more Blockers. The firm has also partnered with cities across the country, from the island of Kauai, to Boise in Idaho, to get as many Blocker machines into the hands of people who want to use them. As ByBlocks generate 41 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than concrete blocks and do not crack or crumble, they are definitely the more sustainable option when it comes to building materials. You can check out a side-by-side comparison between ByBlocks and regular construction blocks here.