Founder of Eco-Eclectic Technologies, Binish Desai, is making eco-friendly bricks out of used PPE kits and masks created from non-woven fabric. He believes this is his contribution in trying to fight against the medical waste piling up due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Crux of the Matter
What Are P-Blocks 2.0?
Back in 2010, Binish Desai had come in the spotlight for his innovative P-Block bricks, that were created from industrial paper and gum waste. Now P-Block 2.0 bricks are made of 52% of shredded PPE and face mask material, whereas the rest is paper waste, used in their previously manufactured bricks.
Eureka Moment From Chewing Gum
11-years-old Binish, once he found a chewing gum stuck to his pants during a school class. He wrapped it in a piece of paper to throw it away later but forgot about it. At the end of the day, he found that the gum and paper had glued together and hardened into a block. This gave him the idea to make bricks using paper and gum.
Dissecting Each ‘Waste’ Brick
Price – ₹2.8 per piece
Dimensions – 12 x 8 x 4 inches (length x breadth x height)
Strength – Stronger than conventional bricks
So How Are They Made?
1. 7 kg of biomedical waste per square foot is required.
2. ‘Eco Bins’ are placed in different locations such as hospitals, police stations, and bus stops. The bins will collect the PPE and used masks, with an indicator signifying if it’s full.
3. But Is It Safe To Use Medical Waste?
As per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) guidelines, the collected material in left in isolation for 72 hours, before being taken to their brick-making premise.
4. They are next put in the disinfectant chamber, disinfected, and then torn down into small pieces.
5. The medical waste is then safe to use and is mixed with the binder and their own paper waste.
6. Finally, the mix is molded in the desired molds and naturally dried till it solidifies and converts into a brick form.
Additionally, the Eco-Eclectic is in collaboration with various colleges who are working on disinfection chambers they have developed. Moreover, all labourers in their manufacturing unit, work in PPE kits for added safety.
What Are Subscription Boxes?
Soon, Eco-Eclectic will be providing users worldwide, a subscription service of their boxes. They can collect their waste like used masks in those boxes and send it back to them for recycling.
The team has worked with over 100 different types of waste such as metal waste, textile waste, coffee waste, and paper waste to make 150+ products like handmade home decor and eco-friendly rakhis.
- Gumdrop is an american startup, which collects and recycles chewed gum and converts it into a sustainable material called Gum-tec. Gum-tec is used in rubber and plastic industries.
- Wu Lien-teh was a Malaysian physician renowned for his work in public health. Wu developed surgical masks he had seen in use in the West into more substantial masks with layers of gauze and cotton to filter the air during the pneumonic plague. It is believed that the N95 mask is the descendant of Wu’s design.
- A plague doctor was a physician who treated victims of the bubonic plague. In times of epidemics, these physicians were specifically hired by towns where the plague had taken hold. The clothing worn by them was intended to protect them from airborne diseases and is one of the earliest examples of the use of PPE by healthcare workers.