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June 14, 2024

Startup develops innovative technology to turn plastic waste into concrete additive — here’s how it works

Photo Credit: CRDC Global

Imagine if all the plastic bottles, bags, and packaging we toss in the recycling bin could be turned into an additive for stronger, more sustainable concrete.

That’s exactly what startup CRDC Global is doing with its innovative RESIN8 technology, according to Plastics Today.

CRDC’s process turns any type of plastic waste — from soda bottles to grocery bags — into a planet-friendly additive for concrete mixes. The company just opened its first Australian facility in Melbourne, which can convert one tonne (2,205 pounds) of plastic per hour into this game-changing building material.

The Australian facility’s opening marks a “pivotal moment” for e-waste management, according to Warren Overton, CEO of the Australia New Zealand Recycling Platform.

So, how does it work?

First, CRDC shreds the mixed plastic waste and sorts it by density. Next, they melt and mix the shredded plastic to produce a mineral-polymer hybrid. Finally, they chop the RESIN8 material into granules that can be added to concrete.

The best part? According to the company, at least, concrete made with RESIN8 is stronger, more flexible, and more fire- and heat-resistant than regular concrete. It also cuts down on the amount of new materials being produced.

While CRDC is based in Costa Rica, it’s expanding globally to get its eco-friendly technology into as many concrete mixes as possible. The Melbourne plant is its fourth, following facilities in Costa Rica, Pennsylvania, and South Africa.

Research out of South Africa even found that RESIN8 improves the strength between layers of 3D-printed concrete. That means we could potentially use this planet-positive additive in 3D-printed houses and buildings.

By keeping plastic waste out of landfills and oceans while beefing up our building materials, CRDC is paving the way (pun intended) to a more sustainable future. As it expands to more cities around the world, don’t be surprised if that new sidewalk or office building near you contains a little recycled plastic.

Here’s the bottom line: With innovative companies like CRDC, we’re getting closer to a world where plastic waste isn’t just a problem — it’s part of the solution. And that’s pretty darn cool.

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