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Turning Non-Recyclable Plastic Waste Into Building Blocks

In the US, the startup ByFusion produces ByBlock blocks from plastic waste that can be used to build fences, public yards, bus stops, to buildings.

Every year, Americans create about 42 million tons of single-use plastic, but only 9% of that is recycled. Part of that is because existing waste treatment facilities cannot keep up with the country’s pace of plastic production. Another reason is simply because some plastics are not recyclable. Los Angeles-based startup ByFusion is on a mission to change that.

ByFusion uses compression combined with steam to shape all plastics, including those that are most difficult to recycle, into building blocks.

To create them, ByFusion uses patented machines called Blockers. Blocker can directly process plastic waste without sorting or cleaning, thereby saving considerable time and resources.

ByBlock building blocks are created by squeezing plastic waste. Photo: ByFusion

The laminated product, ByBlock, comes in a standard size of 6 x 8 x 8 inches (0.4 x 0.2 x 0.2 m) in three variants: a model with locking pins; the second pattern is completely flat on the sides for easy attachment to other building materials; and the other is a combination of both. ByFusion is also working on developing smaller cubes.

Each ByBlock block is 10 pounds (4.5 kg) lighter and more durable than hollow cement blocks. They can be left outdoors, but because plastic is susceptible to sunlight, outdoor projects need to be covered with a clear coat of paint, or combined with another weatherproof material.

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