“Let’s utilize our country’s waste to rebuild our country”
Updated: Aug 26, 2021
RESIN8 transforms waste plastic into high-quality concrete.
Brett Jordaan is personally motivated to solve the plastics crisis. “As a surfer, I literally lie awake at night wondering what kind of world we are leaving to our children. Plastic pollution is everywhere today. You can’t go into nature without seeing plastic litter.”
Brett is one of the founders of the Pristine Earth Collective, which fights plastic pollution with litter booms and community projects.
As the CEO for the Center for Regenerative Design and Collaboration (CRDC) in South Africa, he aims to work on solutions that are commercially viable and have potential to scale.
“There are seven types of plastic and only a few can be recycled. Each different type of plastic needs to be recycled separately, and must be clean before recycling. Our solutions can handle any kind of plastics, separated or mixed, clean or contaminated.”
Founded in Costa Rica, CRDC was a People’s Choice nominee at the 2016 World Economic Forum’s Circularity Awards. Today it has a global presence, with operations in Mexico, Ireland, UK, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.
CRDC’s global team includes top talented packaging and food/beverage executives, environmental scientists, concrete and construction engineers, as well as innovative award-winning designers. Together, they look for solutions that make full scientific and economic sense.
One of their flagship products is RESIN8, an innovation made from waste plastic and minerals that substitutes the sand in concrete.
“Sand is the second most traded commodity in the world,” says Brett. While sand mining has a huge impact on the environment.
“RESIN8 is a concrete modifier that substitutes the use of sand with recycled plastics. Not only does it effectively bind with the cement, it also improves the structural, thermal & environmental properties of concrete products.”
RESIN8 solves two challenges at the same time: plastics pollution and the impact of sand mining. “If we substitute only 3% of all the sand that is used in concrete production globally, we can absorb all the mismanaged plastic waste in the world.”
In South Africa, various companies use RESIN8 in concrete for paving tiles, furniture, and even social housing. “We’re literally using our country’s waste to rebuild our country.”
The pilot factory in Cape Town processes 400 kilograms of plastics per day, and CRDC aims to launch a large-scale plant in 2022, able to process up to 48 tons of plastic daily.
“There are three main sources for used plastic: companies, clean-ups and informal waste collectors. We want to work with all of them. Companies are willing to pay for disposal of their waste. However, for clean-ups we offer our services at no charge. Right now, we are looking at partnerships that help us pay informal waste collectors for their plastic.”
With national and international investors coming on board, CRDC seems to have a bright future. “We are growing because we have a realistic, scientifically sound and economically viable solution. We can sell RESIN8 at the same price as sand, and still be commercially viable. That is how we can get to a #ZeroWaste world: by creating value out of waste. If there’s value, nothing gets wasted”.