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An idea as solid as a brick to manage plastic

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The Times of India | Sudha Nambudiri | TNN | Feb 19, 2017 |

KOCHI: A group of engineering graduates who recently graduated from the Model engineering college, Thrikkakara, has come out with an innovative solution for managing plastic waste – plastic bricks.  Taking inspiration from Ahmad Khan’s plastic road, and stories of plastic bricks made in Ivory Coast and Uganda, the team came up with a unique product of their own, one that can be manufactured with raw materials available locally. “When we made the first prototype, we took it to the civil engineering department of Cochin university for testing quality and strength. These bricks have passed all the recommended tests viz. compressive strength test, water absorption test, flexural test,” said Kevin Jacob, a member of the team. Cusat’s civil engineering department has certified the product.

“It is a mixture of plastic waste collected from Karukutty grama panchayat and surrounding areas and some local ingredients,” said Manyu J Varma. The methods followed and ingredients used in preparing the brick made it stronger, less water absorbent, and more durable than ordinary bricks.  Most of them had got into the IT industry with good pay-packets but thirst for innovation drove them to quit the jobs. They invested in the venture whatever money they saved. “We got these bricks ready by mid-January and finished the testing by February. Now we are building a small plant in the backyard of my home in Karukutty to make more bricks,” Kevin said. Out of 60 million tonnes of trash generated in India yearly, 6,000 tonnes are generated every day in Kerala alone. Kochi known as the waste capital of the state, being the top contributor, produces around 45,000 metric tonnes of waste annually.

“We can make 2,500 bricks from five tonnes of plastic waste generated every day in Kochi,” he said. These paving bricks can be used for making footpaths, paving roads, and maybe in the future, with some improvement, even to build houses, the youngsters said. Innovation is not new to this group who, during their college days have won accolades for manufacturing a smart fan-regulator, ‘i-fan’, hybrid electric trains and a project on early detection of Parkinson’s Disease etc.

 The others in the team are Saffin Nazeer, Abhijth D, Edwin Basil James, Geethanjali T Menon Bhagyalakshmi, Arjun Sasikumar, Julian Sara Joseph, Sreelakshmi P V, Mevin Jacob and Fevin Basil James. There is also one medical student. Kevin has been selected to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for more rigorous training in innovation and entrepreneurship. He was selected from an outstanding pool of applicants that included students, professionals, entrepreneurs and inventors from all over the world. The travel and visa expenses for this boot camp will be sponsored by KSIDC that helps young startups develop with seed funding. “We dream about a machine that eats plastic all day and gives out all sorts of construction bricks” said Julian on the project. – Courtesy
The interlocking paver bricks made from plastic waste.

The interlocking paver bricks made from plastic waste.

Building roads using plastic, brick by brick –  The Hindu, February 20, 2017, M P Praveen. – Click here to Read More….


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