A new project in Pennsylvania will transform hard-to-recycle plastic — actually all types of resin — into a sandlike concrete additive.
Equipment is arriving at a 14,000-square-foot facility in York, Pa., that will be home to the Center for Regenerative Design and Collaboration’s patented approach aimed at diverting plastics from both the environment and disposal. It is an approach that has caught the attention of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, a nonprofit group backed by some of the biggest names in the plastics industry that works toward ending plastic pollution.
The York facility will use a process developed and refined by CRDC at a pilot facility near San José, Costa Rica, that now will also ramp up to full production thanks to a low-interest loan from the alliance to kick-start commercialization.
CRDC expects to be able to process a combined 26,400 tons of plastic waste each year between the two locations once they are running at full capacity. The end product is called Resin8, which is a take on the resin identification code, explained Donald Thomson, chairman and founder of CRDC, in a Sept. 14 interview from Costa Rica.
“We can deal with the entire waste stream of 1 through 7 [plastics]. And that’s why we call our product Resin8. That’s why we branded it Resin8. It’s kind of like the eighth resin,” he said.
Thomson thinks CRDC has cracked the economics-vs.-environmental code to create a product from troublesome plastic waste that will not only be valued by end users in the concrete industry but also provide a substantial market for plastic that would otherwise be littered, thrown away or burned.
“It’s not hard to find plastic if you find a solution,” he said.
Steve Sikra is vice president and head of Americas for the alliance.
“Creating value and finding a use for hard-to-recycle plastic waste at scale are some of the challenges faced by recyclers in North America and around the world. With solutions like Resin8, we believe there is a strong promise to provide a sustainable building material while also addressing the plastic waste issue,” he said in response to an email.
The CRDC process takes mixed plastics and transforms them into a sandlike like consistency that will easily blend in concrete. The company has overcome a past hurdle of plastic not adhering to other constituents in the concrete mix through a unique process, Thomson explained.