PLOC

PLOC is an open source system that helps people make their own mould and turn waste to the durable constructional product which is an interlocking brick-cum-tile made from material reprocessed by Dharavi’s established plastic recycling industry

Scope

Service Design

Product Design

Circular Economy

Client

CERN

(Sustainable design)

Year

My Role

2019, Oct  - Jan

User research

Service flow

Business analysis

Award

Grand challenge winner

 

ABOUT

Breaking the vicious loop of recycling plastic, we designed a means to build a durable interlocking brick-cum-tile from plastic waste generated by the city of Mumbai. We aim to impact the lock slum, Dharavi, dealing with waste by creating job, valuable end products to improve their housing infrastructure and new industry opportunities. We proved opportunity and viability of recycled plastic products that have a longer life, can be built from a grassroots level, and can sustain meaningful purpose in their application.

CHALLENGE

Repetitive recycling generates a huge carbon footprint. Dharavi has a huge internal economy, which is estimated to be worth around £700m. Along with leatherworking, recycling forms a fundamental part of the economy. A fifth of the slum’s population are estimated to be employed in waste disposal. Therefore, how can we develop a low cost operational system that helps residents in slum can easily to apply for it and run their own business, then improve their quality of life?

VIDEO

DESIGN APPROACH

DESK RESEARCH

Problem scope

Right now an estimated 12.7 million tonnes of plastic – everything from plastic bottles and bags to micro beads – end up in our oceans each year. That’s a truck load of rubbish a minute. Millions of tons of waste plastic from British businesses and homes may be ending up in landfill sites across the world, the government’s spending watchdog has warned.

Plastic Recycling in Dharavi

  • The recycling industry in Dharavi is a £700m industry

  • 80% of Mumbai’s solid waste is recycled; that is close to 8000 metric tons

  • Plastic waste is bought by the kilogram at (approx.) 15p per kg of plastic bottles

  • The plastic recycling industry employs close to 10,000 people

  • 20,000 single-room factories support the economy of the slum

Housing Situation in Dharavi

  • 1 million people live in Dharavi with a population density of  869,565 people per square mile

  • The most basic housing relies on materials like corrugated iron sheets and bamboo or wooden planks

  • Dharavi receives heavy monsoon rains, which takes its toll on poorly built houses

  • Most structures are built through manual labour due to narrow streets and lack of space for heavy machinery

TARGET COMMUNITY

Why did we choose a slum in India?

01/

Point of plastic waste accumulation

Almost all of the plastic waste from Mumbai

02/

Recycling industry

-Employing almost 10,000 people

-Having 20,000 single-room factories

-A £700m industry

03/

Need for durable housing

-869,565 people per square mile

-Built through manual labour

IMPACTS & STAKEHOLDERS

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How might we turn plastic waste into durable products to make a positive impact in a slum community and on the environment?

IDEATION

FINAL PRODUCT

PROTOTYPE

Melting plastic pallet

Real size brick

Interlocking process

VALUE CREATION

How will it benefit for residents in Dharavi slum

Business profit

Creating valuable end-products compared to raw materials.

Open source

Open Source toolkit of process and product with the use of accessible materials

Impactful design

No toxic gases, no concrete and cement, overall positive environmental impact

SERVICE FLOW

APPLICATION

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Before

After

BUSINESS ANALYSIS

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AWARD

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Grand Challenge Winner

Visiting Cern With Other Winning Teams

TEAM

Irene Liao 

Eric Saldanha

Xiaohui Wang 
Megan Willis 
Oliver Bassnett