Green Innovation

Rooftiles from recycled plastic
Plastic recycling is the process of recovering scrap or waste plastics and reprocessing the material into useful products, sometimes completely different from their original state. For instance, this could mean melting down soft drink bottles then casting them as plastic rooftiles, chairs, tables and other innovative products.

making rooftiles from recycled plastic
making rooftiles from recycled plastic

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Pavement bricks from recycled plastic
The recycling of plastic to make paving bricks. They cut the plastic into small pieces. The shredded plastic is mixed with sand and heated. The mould is set up with bits of broken tiles and glass at the bottom to make the final product attractive.

Recycled plastic pavement bricks
Then the mixture is poured into moulds to form paving bricks. A simple and wonderful technology.

Recycled plastic pavement bricks Source Information:

In Cameroon, micro enterprises have been working to make recycled plastic paving stones from waste plastic , specifically from plastic bags, bottles and plastic wrappings.

But how does it work? The paving stones can be produced on an artisanal or small-scale.  The slideshow below shows the different steps needed. The photos are taken from a training workshop carried out with micro enterprises at the worksite of ADEC in Douala, Cameroon.


Searching for detailed information about tools and proces of making pavement bricks from plastic bag waste? A simple and effective roadmap to start your own business: Roadmap.Pavement.Bricks  Source knowledge & Photos: Lios McGilchrist from Living Earth Foundation UK. (Project Cameroon)

Sapling with recycled plastic bottles
How to save a tree sapling with recycled plastic bottles. Another simple and innovative idea for awareness plastic recycling and re-use a plastic bottle.

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The bottle is hung upside-down from a stake next to the sapling.  In this case i is a mango sapling.  An opening is made in the bottom of the bottle.  Now, instead of dumping water from your bucket onto the ground all at once, fill the bottle.  Unscrew the cap just enough until water drips out.  The system has easily adjustable water flow – unscrew the cap more and the water flows out faster.

Bottled Light without electricity bill?
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Botlled Ligt Operation Boost

There are millions of people in the world living in such dense, poverty-stricken areas that they don’t even have access to windows in their homes, and hardly the means to pay much of a power bill.  This means that even during daylight hours these poor people have to fumble around in the dark to get to the bathroom.

Now, with three simple ingredients, water, bleach, and bottle, they are getting free, sustainable illumination at almost no cost.  The water diffuses the light spherically throughout the space, emitting as much light as a 55 watt bulb, as opposed to just a gaping hole in the roof passing light directly.

Check out the video of it in action.

Recycled Plastic Bottle House Built in Nigeria
(Source information /photo’s

 Andreas Froese/ECOTEC

Thousands of pieces of trash that would otherwise be clogging waterways and landfills in Nigeria have been turned into sturdy, and surprisingly attractive, construction materials in the village of Yelwa, where the country’s first plastic-bottle house is drawing curious visitors and plenty of press.

“Hundreds of people — including government officials and traditional leaders — have been coming to see how the [house’s] walls are built in the round architectural shape popular in northern Nigeria,” the BBC reported this week.

Stronger Than Conventional Construction The bottles are actually filled with dry soil or construction waste, not sand (an “unnecessary expense”), John Haley of ECOTEC, the firm that is training local masons in the technique, told in an email.

They are then laid in rows like bricks and bound together with mud, producing a sturdy, well-insulated, and inexpensive three-room structure that is resistant to both bullets and earthquakes.

 Andreas Froese/ECOTEC

“In Nigeria millions of plastic bottles are dumped into waterways and landfill each year causing pollution, erosion, irrigation blockages, and health problems. Bottle houses take this dangerous waste out of the environment and make it useful,” the environmental blog Eco Nigeria wrote earlier this year as the construction was in progress.

Bottle House To Be Energy Self-Sufficient Used plastic bottles were collected from hotels, restaurants, homes, and embassies starting in December 2010 to accumulate the estimated 7,800 needed to build the inaugural home in Yelwa following applications of the technique in India and Central and South America.

According to Eco Nigeria, the bottle house will be “solar powered, with a fuel-efficient clean cook stove, urine filtration fertilization systems, and water purification tanks, thereby making it energy autonomous.” Next up: A 220,000-bottle school / bottle workshop / bottle office etc.

More On Bottle Houses
Massive Plastic Bottle Building Unveiled in Taiwan

Tree sapling, making rooftiles, buillding houses or other nice and useful products are not the only solution………..

Plastic back into oil machine
The simple realization that  plastic is made from oil and thus, it should be possible to  revert these same items back to their original form was the start of other inventions.

As an example the Japanese inventor Akinori Ito invented a non-polluting, fully contained process that heats  up the plastic, traps the vapors and channels them through an intricate system  of pipes and water chambers. These, in turn, cool the vapors and condense them  back into crude oil. This crude oil can be used in generators and even some  stoves. An additional refinement step converts the crude oil into gasoline.

Japanese inventor Akinori Ito with the plastic back to oil machine
Japanese inventor Akinori Ito with the plastic back to oil machine

The carbon-negative system — now offered by Ito’s Blest Corporation, founded in early 2010 —  is a highly-efficient technology, converting 1 kilogram (about 2 lbs.) of  plastic into 1 liter (about a quart) of oil using just 1 kilowatt of power  (cost: about .20 cents).

However, the current cost of this system is just under  10,000 USD. Ito hopes to bring this price down through ramping up the production  process as the word gets out and demand increases.

Plastic bags could also become a coveted, recycling commodity similar to how  aluminum cans have virtually disappeared from landfills.

Blest machine: Convert plastic trash into usable oil
Blest machine: Convert plastic trash into usable oil