India’s ‘Recycle Man’ makes bricks from discarded face masks


Binish Desai, India’s ‘Recycle Man’, makes bricks from discarded face masks

Binish Desai’s newest invention — Brick 2.0 — comes at a time when the plastic disaster has snowballed the world over. The ‘Recycle Man of India’, who shot to fame in 2010 for designing P-Block (bricks from industrial paper and gum waste), spent the previous few months engaged on changing discarded face-masks into bricks and is now gearing up for business manufacturing.

In April, when the lockdown started, Desai, 27, immersed himself in his dwelling laboratory, which he created when he was aged ten. “Initially, everyone was talking about how the lockdown had helped reduce pollution, but I could only think of what the rising demand for PPE suits and masks would lead to,” says the founding father of the Gujarat-based Eco-Eclectic Technologies, who has all the time centered on recycling uncared for waste materials.

He began learning the fabric the masks are manufactured from, a non-woven fibre, by accumulating used masks from his household. “I dumped them in a bucket of disinfectant for two days before starting work,” says Desai. He then blended them with “special binders” created in his lab.

“To check the material’s tenacity I conducted small prototype experiments and explored various combinations of binders. For these bricks, the successful ratio was 52% PPE + 45% paper waste + 3% binder,” says Desai, who has been featured within the Forbes ‘30 Under 30’ Asia 2018 record of profitable social entrepreneurs.

Next, Desai created Eco Bins to gather PPE waste. He has contacted municipal firms and native our bodies to set these up throughout Surat and Valsad, and can also be attempting to tie up with personal hospitals, malls and salons to position the bins. “We are in the process of obtaining a NOC from Gujarat Pollution Control Board to conduct mass collection and recycling of the waste,” says Desai.

After following correct sanitation protocols, the fabric will likely be shredded, added to industrial paper waste procured from paper mills, after which blended with binder. “The mix is kept for 5-6 hours before being set in moulds. The bricks are naturally dried for three days and the product is then ready for use,” he says.

Safety and hygiene are paramount when coping with medical waste, and Desai explains that they comply with Central Pollution Control Board pointers. PPE waste have to be saved untouched for 72 hours earlier than disposal, says Desai, “so the Eco Bins will be opened 72 hours later and the waste will first be washed in a pool of disinfectant.”

Women making the earlier variant, P-Block and (right) the bricks being used in construction

Women making the sooner variant, P-Block and (proper) the bricks being utilized in building
 
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Special Arrangement

Desai’s staff has labored with 106 various kinds of waste (jewelry items, textile scraps, paper surplus, espresso waste, and so on.) to create over 180 merchandise akin to wall and acoustic panels, paver blocks, dwelling décor artefacts, and extra. “This non-woven material falls under the ‘biomedical’ category, but once sanitised it is easy to handle compared to products such as diapers and surgical gloves,” he says, including that he’s additionally recycling PPE kits.

Desai compares the bricks with AAC blocks, purple bricks and his P-Block, which has been used to assemble bogs and homes throughout Gujarat and Maharashtra, and in Hyderabad and Varanasi. “The new variant, Brick 2.0, is stronger and more durable, which makes it three times stronger than conventional bricks at twice the size and half the price,” he says, including that it’s hearth retardant, recyclable and absorbs lower than 10% water.

“The project is currently at the commercial stage as we already have the infrastructure for P-Block, and we will only add a few steps for the 2.0 variant,” says Desai, who plans to begin manufacturing from mid-September.

The new bricks will likely be bought on the identical price because the P-Block, at ₹2.eight per piece. Desai says he has began receiving enquiries and pre-orders from architects and inside designers.

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