Costa Rican Startup Makes Cement Blocks with Recycled Ocean-Bound Plastic
A new initiative in Costa Rica seeks to make a big difference in diverting ocean-bound plastics off the shorelines and from entering the ocean. The Center for Regenerative Design and Collaboration (CRDC), run by Don Thomson in Costa Rica, came up with the new concept to use mixed, dirty plastics, which are cleaned/pelletized, to become aggregate in high-quality building blocks and construction materials. CRDC partnered with Costa Rica construction manufacturer Pedregal to develop this new innovative product, called Ecoblock. This new aggregate—consisting of 80% waste plastic and 20% organic additive—is designed to mix with cement.
Costa Rica-based Ecolones is the logistics partner of Pedregal, which has a network of collection centers to gather the materials and deliver it to Pedregal. Pedregal then makes the block from mixed plastic waste gathered off the shorelines and turns it into a useful construction material. The aggregate itself has maintained all the qualities and strength characteristics of standard concrete yet lowered its weight.