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Plastics and the Environment

PLASTICS AND THE ENVIRONMENT

1302584_Bales_of_plastic_for_recycling-300x224The annual consumption of this material has increased from about 5million tons in 1950 to almost 400 million tons in 2014. And it is expected to be doubled by 2050.

Of all waste generated, over 80% is dumped or taken to landfills, 8% is incinerated and only 7% is recycled. This is mainly because more than 70% of daily use plastic products are made from combined or complex plastics that can´t be re-inserted in the production stream and are considered as un-recyclable.

The considerable growth in consumption of plastic is due to its versatility to be customised to each specific requirement and its low cost. It is a very light and very durable material and it does not degrade easily as it is resistant to many chemicals, water and GRN_plasticbag_Australia_TroyMayne_web-300x201aggressions. Important features that Arqlite takes as an advantage is its very good thermal and electrical insulation.

Most plastic is sent to burial, taking between 100 and 5,000 years to degrade, polluting land and groundwater. Another part is incinerated causing pollution and toxic emissions that stay in the atmosphere, in addition to the highly polluting ashes that need to be treated and isolated.

 Want to know more? Read this report about plastic contamination

A Perfect Society: Arqlite + Construction

concrete-e1404143581883World production of concrete was estimated at more than 3,000 million tons in 2012. While concrete is a material widely used for its ease of application and nobility, with the passing of the years there are two variables that can still be optimised: Its environmental impact and high weight.

The natural aggregates used for composition are extracted from non-renewable environmental resources, degrading the landscape, causing erosion problems and affecting the flora and fauna of extraction points. We can see this “shortage” of resources as an opportunity to start using other disruptive materials as artificial aggregates.

Arqlite is the perfect society for the construction industry, helping divert hundreds of thousands tons of plastics from landfills into a lighter and more efficient concrete.