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Powering 2018 With Recycling Innovations

Towards the end of 2017, viewers in the UK watching David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II were shocked to discover the damaging impact of human waste on our planet.

Let’s roll into the New Year with change. 2018 brings a new year for people to think globally, take action, and take a step in the right direction towards a greener future.

Here are some ingenious ideas which have recently come to light and could make a real difference to our environment.

Turning Coffee Ground to Biofuel

One entrepreneur has found a unique use for coffee bean waste. Bio-bean’s founder, Arthur Kay, was inspired to look at the process of collection and use of coffee grounds, due to the sheer amount of waste that is accumulated annually, a shocking 200,000 tonnes each year, in London alone.

A picture of coffee grounds, which are now being used to help create bio-fuel.

The Bio-Bean factory recycles 50,000 tonnes of waste coffee grounds each year, by mixing with oils and fats to create a bio-component. This is then combined with a mineral diesel, creating the final product; coffee-derived B20 biofuel.

This is not only a fantastic recycling opportunity, but also a way to generate new energy.

Recycling Plastic Bags to Petrol

Researchers, at the University in Illinois, have found an innovative way to reuse plastic bags, slightly different from the usual method of keeping them stored in a cupboard or drawer!

By heating the plastic to melting point and combining with hydrogen atoms, they have been able to create liquid hydrocarbon fuel (petrol) in order to power cars.

Plastic is largely made from polyethene (a fossil fuel), which is such a durable product that it can remain unchanged on earth for hundreds of years. As shown on Blue Planet II, this can cause huge damage to ecological environments. So, finding new ways to reduce plastic bag waste can only be a good thing.

This latest innovation is not only reducing the amount of plastic sent to landfill and saving the oceans, but also helping power our vehicles.

Creating A Solid Foundation with Plastic Bricks

Some plastics are incredibly strong and an Architect graduate from New York has found a new way to granulate plastic bags and mix them with concrete to form bio-bricks.

A picture of a large 'ByBlock', an eco-friendly building block created using plastic.
A large ‘ByBlock’, created by company ByFushion (http://www.byfusion.com/byblocks/)

 

In Sussex, they have similarly started a scheme to use recycled plastic bottles, turning them into bricks for construction. It only takes around 20 bottles to create one brick.

There are many advantages to using this method: not only does this reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill, but it is also cheaper to manufacture, has better insulation and noise prevention properties in comparison to concrete.

What an efficient and necessary solution to plastic waste!

Conclusion

These brilliant ideas will contribute to saving this beautiful planet we live on. Sometimes all it takes is an idea to make a real change to the world.

If you find yourself surrounded by waste that could and should be recycled, contact the GD team and we can answer any questions you may have.

Give us a call on 01633 277 755 for specialist advice.