Meet the Startup With an Ingenious, Global Solution

Repurposing materials to offer an awesome future.

Meet the Startup With an Ingenious, Global Solution | Repurposing materials to offer an awesome future.

The world is overwhelmed with plastic and even with recycling mandates, cities and municipalities struggle to maintain plastic waste. That’s why startup ByFusion is on a mission to respond to this global problem, according to Fast Company, by turning plastic into viable construction material to build future homes and buildings. 

Not all plastic is recyclable
Only nearing 9 percent of plastic is actually recycled annually, according to the latest data from the US Environmental Protection Agency. But this disappointing figure is also due to the fact that a lot of plastic, like shopping bags and coffee cups, is actually non-recyclable. Non-recyclable plastics end up in landfills as waste and could take hundreds of years to degrade. These plastics can also end up in oceans and other waterways endangering marine life, according to National Geographic

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ByFusion is using sustainable technology to turn plastic waste into zero-waste building blocks

But now Los Angeles-based startup, ByFusion, has developed a way for governments to recycle previously unrecyclable plastics into huge indestructible bricks called ByBlocks, and help turn plastic waste into a usable product, according to Fast Company. 

The ByBlocks are made from innovative and patented machines called ByBlockers that use steam-based compression to squeeze any kind of plastic, even unrecyclable plastics, into large-block material. The process doesn’t use any chemical, additives or adhesives according to ByFusions’s website and therefore, there is no extra waste in the process. 

The ByBlocks are not only environmentally-friendly but also offer benefits for construction firms as these blocks are 10 pounds lighter yet more durable than hollow cement bricks and can easily be clad with other building materials, according to Fast Company. The blocks come in standard 6-by-8-by-8-inch sizes, and can be used to build anything from fences to walls to terraces.

103 tons of plastic have been recycled into ByBlocks
The company is working with several cities across the United States including Boise, Idaho and Tucson, Arizona, and has already recycled 103 tons of plastic.It hopes to reach 100 million tons by 2030, according to Fast Company. 

ByFusion also recently announced its collaboration with the Hefty Trash bags to launch a pilot program in Boise, Idaho that will give the community access to ByBlocker technology, according to Waste360. The Hefty EnergyBag Recycling Program initiative hopes to remove up to 72 tons of plastic waste from local landfills and turn them into Byblockers to build city park benches,  and plans for more building initiatives in the coming years.

Optimistic about a future with zero waste
ByFusion is optimistic that this pilot program will show other cities around the country how they can turn their plastic waste into sustainable solutions

"We are confident that the area's implementation of ByBlocks will show other cities how they can repurpose their plastic waste and transform it into an alternative building material that helps support their infrastructure needs, instead of being an ongoing burden," the CEO of ByFusion, Heidi Kajawa tells Waste360 news in an interview. 

The company's ultimate goal is for every US city to implement the ByBlocker to take control of its plastic waste. The machines are expensive with a large ByBlocker priced at 1.3 million dollars. But Kajawa highlights to Fast Company that the financial burden of plastic waste costs taxpayer dollars, and a solution could save significantly more on costs and energy in the long-term. That’s why the ByBlocker is also available to rent annually at a much lower cost for cities to try, according to the article.

Kajawa tells Fast Company that  “If we get 9,000 Blocker systems installed around the world by 2025…together we can hit our 100-million-ton goal.” 

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