In a world of disposable everything, single-use plastics continue to be a problem. Until they are all banned (don't hold your breath), a Los Angeles based company has a solid, practical solution to clear up and recycle plastic waste - and it's already delivering results.
Every year, Americans generate about 42 million tons of plastic. And yet only 9 percent of that gets recycled; partly because the country's recycling infrastructure can’t keep up with the nation’s plastic production, and partly because some plastics simply can’t be recycled.
The good news is that Los Angeles-based startup ByFusion is on a mission to change that.
ByFusion uses a combination of steam and compression to shape all kinds of plastics, even non-recyclables, into standard building blocks called ByBlocks. These can be used to build just about anything, but the real stars are the patented machines used to make them. Called Blockers, these hefty machines are fed mounds of plastic that are squeezed into blocks - no sorting or cleaning needed. After years of R&D, the company has installed a full production unit in L.A., where it can process 450 tons of plastic per year, with 12 more Blockers in the pipeline across the country.
The company's goal is to be recycling 100 million tons by 2030 (about a quarter of the U.S.’s annual plastic production.) ByFusion has already partnered with a host of cities, including Boise, Idaho, and Tucson, Arizona. In Lihue, on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, the company worked with an elementary school to build a pavilion with blocks made from locally collected marine debris and fishing nets. The ultimate objective? To sell Blocker machines to every city in the U.S. and abroad, helping municipalities take control of their plastic waste and turn it into building material.