i-plas is a British recycling company and they just might be the next best thing since sliced bread.  They take mixed plastic waste destined for landfills and convert it into sustainable, high performance, environmentally friendly products.  These folks are really onto something and just might be creating a model for other countries and communities to deal with plastic waste.

The company says that possibilities are endless when considering its products’ usefulness.  It can be used as an alternative to wood, steel or concrete to build bridges, walls, fences, etc.  It doesn’t splinter or chip and requires no varnishing or coating since it is moisture-resistant.  It can be formed or manipulated in ways other materials can’t imagine… think plastic lumber and plastic roads.

They already have a solid line of products on the market including some outdoor furniture:

So, clearly some MAJOR benefits here… According to i-plas (in British):

  • One tonne of i-plas recycled plastic saves 1.66 tonnes of CO2 emissions
  • Producing a ton of concrete generates almost a ton of CO2 emissions
  • Annually 3 million tonnes of plastic waste is created in the UK and only 7% is recycled
  • Plastic can take up to 5,000 years to degrade in landfill
  • 1.8 tonnes of oil are saved for every tonne of recycled polymer produced
  • The energy saved by recycling one plastic bottle will power a computer for 25 minutes

You can expect to see more of i-plas in the near future— the company is planning seven new production facilities and hopes to supply the 2012 Olympics in London… that’s tight!


About Joshua Foss

Joshua is a leading voice for transformational change. He is the editor of Metro Hippie, co-founder and director of development of the Ecala Group, and adjunct faculty at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He is also an ambassador for the Living Building Challenge and is a frequent speaker at national conferences, trade shows and summits.