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Value out of Waste; This Young Innovator Converts Used PPE Waste into Solid Bricks

By auther pic. Roshini Muthukumar

May 16, 2022

Value out of Waste; This Young Innovator Converts Used PPE Waste into Solid Bricks

Dr. Binish Desai

More than two years after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, we’re still dependent on disposable masks, PPE suits, and other protective gear. 

Across the world, 129 billion disposable masks are used every month, 3 million a minute, or 50,000 every second. 

According to a report by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in the National Green Tribunal, India generates about 101 Metric Tonnes per day (MT/day) of COVID-19-related biomedical waste. This quantity is in addition to the normal biomedical waste generation of about 609 MT/day.

While these disposable masks are considered to be paper-like materials, they actually contain traces of polypropylene or plastic. 

As the world continues to deal with plastic infiltration in the soil, water, and even humans, we’re faced with a new mountain of a problem: trillions of discarded masks with virtually no solution to recycle them. 

But, this young innovator from Gujarat, named Binish Desai is ensuring that facemasks do not end up in landfills or oceans. 

“Facemasks are the new normal, and single-use face masks are widely used. But, once they are disposed of, they end up in a landfill. So, I thought why not try to incorporate this with some innovative techniques to create something new,” says Binish, who has been recycling and innovating since his childhood. 

Building blocks from waste

The idea to make bricks from waste material struck Binish when he was 11 years old. He was in school when he wrapped a piece of chewing gum in paper and put it inside his pocket. Being like every other child, he forgot about that wrapper sitting inside his pocket. 

After a couple of days, he found the same in his pocket. It had hardened and looked like a solid block though it had undergone a wash. This gave him the idea to innovate an advanced brick. At the age of 16, Binish launched his first company named Eco-Eclectic Tech Group.  

Calling it the P-Block, Binish produced a prototype by wrapping chewing gum in the paper. He further improved on the model by incorporating waste paper, binders, and more. 

Now, to tackle the waste generated owing to the pandemic, he introduced P-Block 2.0. 

This is an advanced version of brick 1.0 and is made using components such as PPE and masks. These materials account for 52 percent of the total brick, while 45% is paper sludge and the rest is a binding agent formulated with a gum base. 

Brick 2.0 is three times stronger than any red brick. It adheres nicely to the plaster, is lighter, eco-friendly, and costs half as much as the conventional bricks. Even the production method is simple and environment friendly.

You can follow him on Instagram to stay updated with his work. 

Also Read: Desk-IT by PROSOC - making education infrastructure available for less fortunate children since 2016

Author

Roshini Muthukumar, a native of Chennai, started her career as a content writer but made a switch to journalism to pursue her passion. She has experience writing about human interest stories, innovative technology, entrepreneurs, research blogs, and more. Previously, Roshini has done internships with The Hindu, Metroplus and worked as a correspondent with The Better India.

 

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