Building With Recycled Plastic

By Sarah Stukalin, AMAST Content

In this day and age plastic is everywhere around us, and as a result, it is increasingly harmful to our environment. Plastic pollutes our oceans, harms our wildlife, and piles up in our landfills. Because of this, plastic has been labeled as incredibly unsustainable material, but with new technology and innovation, experts are discovering ways to redirect used plastic into the construction industry. This allows for a more sustainable project and a reduction of a company’s carbon footprint. Here are the ways recycled plastic is being used to benefit the construction industry.

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Roofing Tiles

Roofing is one of the most essential parts of a house, and because of this, there has been a large push to adopt more sustainable and diverse roofing options. Experts have begun to develop roofing tiles made of recycled plastic that strongly resemble more expensive materials, additionally providing the same level of quality buyers can expect from a material such as slate. Roofing tiles made of recycled plastic hold the benefits of being lighter than typical roofing materials, as well as providing a quicker installation process.

Floor Tiles

With floor tiles being another essential aspect of a construction project, builders have begun to adopt recycled plastic into their flooring routine. These tiles hold the benefits of being incredibly easy to install because of their lightweight and durability, as well as being easy to clean and maintain. With sustainable materials, there is always a concern of cost, but plastic floor tiles are an incredibly affordable option, as well as quiet and heat-retaining.

Fences

While the thought of a plastic fence may initially sound cheap or tawdry, great lengths have been made in the construction and plastic industry to provide a high-quality product. Fences made of recycled plastic have great longevity, as they can be exposed to a variety of weather without rotting. Durability is incredibly important for a fence as well, and plastic will guarantee maximum strength to withstand strong winds. Plastic fences can also be colored during the recycling process, so there is no need to spend excess money on paint.

PVC Windows

PVC windows have grown in popularity over the years due to their versatility and flexibility. Because they are made mostly from recycled plastic, their frames are 100% recyclable allowing for a more eco-friendly product. PVC Windows last up to forty years and have the same insulation quality as regular plastic, making for an all-around more sustainable material.

Insulation

Because insulation is essential in the home-building process, it is important to consider cheaper and sustainable methods. Many insulation companies have developed insulation with recycled plastic inside of it in order to maximize energy efficiency. Insulation with recycled plastic has an incredibly easy installation process, is durable, and can save energy over a long period of time.

Concrete

Recycled plastics can be used to create an even stronger form of concrete that has been proven to be 15% stronger than regular concrete. This concrete can be used in the form of driveways, sidewalks, etc. And because concrete with plastic is stronger, it lasts longer and is a more eco-friendly option than regular concrete.

Works Cited

Calovini, L. (n.d.). 10 Ways Recycled Plastics Are Used In Construction. Retrieved December 30, 2020, from https://www.shiniusa.com/2018/01/29/recycled-plastics-construction/

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