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
2019, Oct - Jan
Grand challenge winner
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.
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?
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
Why did we choose a slum in India?
Point of plastic waste accumulation
Almost all of the plastic waste from Mumbai
-Employing almost 10,000 people
-Having 20,000 single-room factories
-A £700m industry
Need for durable housing
-869,565 people per square mile
-Built through manual labour
IMPACTS & STAKEHOLDERS
How might we turn plastic waste into durable products to make a positive impact in a slum community and on the environment?
Melting plastic pallet
Real size brick
How will it benefit for residents in Dharavi slum
Creating valuable end-products compared to raw materials.
Open Source toolkit of process and product with the use of accessible materials
No toxic gases, no concrete and cement, overall positive environmental impact
Grand Challenge Winner
Visiting Cern With Other Winning Teams