Startup's advanced engineering process transforms plastic waste into building blocks

It is estimated that the firm has recycled 103 tons of plastic to date.
Loukia Papadopoulos
ByFusion recycled blocks.ByFusion
  • The whole process is emissions-free.
  • Each block is 16 inch by 8-inch by 8-inch unit.
  • The company plans to recycle 100 million tons of plastic by 2030.

There’s no doubt that plastic pollution is a problem for our planet. It shows up everywhere, from heaps of trash collected in the oceans to microplastics found in our blood.

An innovative way of dealing with plastic trash

Los Angeles-based startup ByFusion has come up with an innovative way of dealing with this trash. It turns it into useful and convenient construction blocks called "ByBlocks," according to a report by CNN Business.

"You'd be astounded at the things that cannot be recycled, which is basically everything you touch ... stuff like pens, toothbrushes," ByFusion's CEO, Heidi Kujawa, told CNN Business. "The interesting thing about our technology is we specifically, entirely designed our system around the low value, no value stuff, everything that can't be recycled."

She added that only two types of plastics can be recycled the rest goes to waste and cannot be rid of easily.

"In the past it used to go to China and other places that would buy it from us," she said. "That dried up in 2017. Since then, we've been burning or burying that plastic."

The company makes use of a machine called the Blocker System that transforms the waste into building blocks in minutes using steam and compression. The greatest advantage is that the trash is not washed before use, as is the case in most recycling operations.

The Blockwer system takes the trash as it is and shreds it into tiny pieces that can easily be merged together to make the blocks. The process encompasses some advanced engineering that makes for ready-to-use blocks that any construction company can use.

"We've modeled our ByBlocks around the dimensions of a hollow cement block. Each is a 16 inch by 8 inch by 8 inch unit," said Kujawa.

Startup's advanced engineering process transforms plastic waste into building blocks
ByFusion Blocks.
Source : ByFusion

The ByBlocks work just as well as cement blocks, they just have one catch: they are susceptible to sunlight. However, this can easily be solved by coating them in clear paint or pairing them with a mighty weather-resistant material.

Emissions-free processes

Better yet, the CEO added that all their processes for creating the blocks are emissions-free.

"From the very beginning, we knew we wanted to be as carbon neutral as possible. So our block, our systems and our manufacturing process is an all electric, no emissions process today," Kujawa said.

The company has a lofty goal to recycle 100 million tons of plastic by 2030. To achieve this, 12 more Blockers are expected to be installed soon across the United States.

That would certainly make our planet a little less plastic cluttered.

"Every community struggles with plastic waste," Kujawa said. "Putting in a Blocker [System] is going to help reduce landfill, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce transportation needs, all of that other good stuff."

ByFusion now has a full production unit in L.A. that can tackle up to 450 tons of plastic per year. It is estimated that the firm has recycled 103 tons of plastic to date.

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