Plastic Waste can be Efficient Building Materials

by M. Wasim
Plastic Pollution

Plastic trash is unlimited today in the shape of packaging, bottling and shopping bags today. They all comprise a large portion of waste to form greenhouse gasses all around the world. However, the reuse and recycling of plastic is a more efficient solution for construction and landscaping materials. The reuse of plastic can be treated as building blocks, beams, doors, pavers, benches and many for small scale construction.

Pakistan & Plastic Waste

Building and Construction Materials made up from recycled plastic is a great option in Pakistan as the market is starved for maintenance-free eco-friendly products. Pakistan has the highest percentage of mismanaged plastic in South Asia. Around 55 billion plastic bags are produced in the country every year, most of them destined for garbage dumps, landfill sites, or municipal sewers. Around 30 million tons of solid waste is produced each year, out of which 9% are plastics. The result is increasing plastic pollution in the country which has a negative effect on human health and marine life, upsetting food chains and causing air, water and land to pollute.

Pakistan’s 1st Plastic Road

Recycled Plastic construction products are ideal building materials for any landscaping and construction project, if designed with the highest level of strength and durability. In December 2021, Pakistan’s ‘first plastic road,’ carpeted with recycled plastic waste, was inaugurated in Islamabad. Almost 10 tons of plastic waste was recycled to re-carpet a one-kilometer-long patch of Ataturk Avenue and executed with funding of Rs21 million in partnership with Coca Cola, TeamUp and Capital Development Authority. The idea provides a breakthrough solution to bring back plastic waste into the productive economy.

Unlike traditional preservative treated concrete, iron or wooden products, Recycled Plastic does not suffer from the adverse effects of weather conditions. Recycled Plastic does not rot, warp, crack, chip, splinter.

But more importantly construction materials made up of reuse or recycled plastic help reduce plastic waste pollution, as government estimates 87,000 tons of solid waste is generated daily in Pakistan mostly from major metropolitan areas.

Advantages of Plastic Building Materials

We’ve already listed quite a few advantages that plastic offers to the construction industry, but there are still many more that can make this material a game changer for all sorts of building projects. As Plastic is:

•             Lightweight without sacrificing strength.

•             Easy and less expensive to transport because of lower weight.

•             Easier to maneuver on site.

•             Rot resistant.

•             Corrosion resistant.

•             Highly weatherable because of how tightly they can be sealed.

•             Easy to extrude, bend, mold or 3D print to achieve a wide variety of shapes and sizes.

In a word Recycled Plastic is the future of construction due to its uniquely maintenance-free, eco-friendly, cost effective characteristics.


Editorial, Infocus

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