Indonesian youth entrepreneurs Liu Lifei (left) and Novida (right) founded Rebricks to deal with plastic waste rejected by recycling plants and develop building materials such as exit bricks and hollow bricks to build houses
Rebricks, based in Jakarta, collects multi-layered composite plastic waste rejected by the recycling plant and mixes it with materials such as cement to make recycled green bricks. The Indonesian start-up was co-founded by Ovy Sabrina and Novita Tan in June 2018.
Rebricks was one of last year's winners of the Circular Innovation Jam. The competition, sponsored by the State Department and others, encourages countries in Southeast and South Asia to develop circular economies.
In a recent interview with the Central News Agency, Liu said that when she and Novida thought about investing in a green economy, they first visited landfills and recycling sites near Bogar, West Java, and learned that many kinds of plastic waste cannot be recycled, mainly plastic packaging made of aluminum-containing multi-layer composite materials.
Liu Lifei said that these soft plastics, such as instant coffee, bubble bags, laundry detergent and other household goods supplement bags are recycling plants as no economic value of garbage, but also refused to recycle, the result is to pile up in the landfill, or worse, by rivers into the sea, which is an urgent problem to be solved.
This kind of plastic garbage is stacked in a Rebricks factory, shredded by special machines, then mixed in proportion by the master cement, and other materials made of traditional bricks, which are put into brick-making machines and pressed into bricks.
The process seemed easy, and it took Liu and Novida 18 months to find the gold ratio, developing a paving brick with a pressure strength of 250 kg per square centimeter, in line with Indonesian national standards, and has been used in parking lots, parks and other places.
Their office displays are marked with different numbers of bricks, which are finished products that have failed previous attempts, without which there would be no day of success. 'We've been trying to correct mistakes, and we've finally found formulas that are strong enough to withstand pressure, that are productive and competitively priced, and that we're still trying new ways, ' Ms. Liu said.
Liu Lifei said that the current process to ensure that the recycling of plastic raw materials will not expose the upper surface of the road brick, to avoid plastic particles pollution of the environment, each paving brick about 20% of the raw materials from plastic waste, each square meter of paving brick using 880 multi-layer composite materials of plastic waste, the factory can produce up to 100 square meters of paving bricks per day, equivalent to the recovery of 88,000 such garbage, if the maximum capacity to operate, a year can be recycled about 33 million.
Residents of the Kasuari community in bintaro district, south of Jakarta, are very supportive of Rebricks' idea of not only providing rebricks with multi-layered composite plastic waste recycled by the community, but also setting up an elegant gazebo in a community park using Rebricks road tiles.
From the outside, Rebricks' road tiles are no different from traditional road bricks, even aesthetically pleasing and inexpensive, ' says Tini Rudi, a volunteer who drives community resource recycling. She recommends using this recycled eco-friendly brick, which every household makes plastic waste that can be used to make building materials and prevent it from being disposed of in landfills.
Ms. Liu said last year's win in the Circular Innovation Competition opened up many opportunities for Rebricks to receive messages from Myanmar, Singapore and EU countries wanting to discuss cooperation with Rebricks.
Looking back on the challenges along the way, Liu said that her family has been running a cement factory for 30 years, and at first, people around her didn't understand why they were using recycled plastic waste as raw material, and they couldn't find machines to shred plastic, only scissors to cut plastic with their bare hands, and experimented with the ratio one at a time.
Despite the ups and downs of the research and development process, Ms. Liu said, neither she nor Novida gave up, but encouraged each other, "We believe that we are doing the right thing and will find a way."
Rebricks will soon release its second product, a hollow brick for building a house. Liu Lifei said that it is hoped that more and more people choose to use environmentally friendly green products, leaving the next generation of good environment, to deal with the problem of garbage everyone is responsible, everyone's behavior will have a direct impact on the environment. (Editor: Huang Ziqiang) 1100326