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A new life for plastics

Despite increasing numbers of us taking the time to sort through everyday waste, around two thirds of used pieces of plastic still end up heading for landfills or incineration. One ‘Green thinking’ firm is finding new homes and purposes for these plastics by turning them into sheet material with a myriad of uses. They transform rejected acrylics, polycarbonates and vinyl into visually dazzling panels for partitioning, glazing, walls and facades. Clever stuff.

Plant based building materials

It’s not just our diets that are going plant based, it’s our building materials too. Agricultural cladding is set to become produced in bulk. This particularly eco-friendly concept is the production of corrugated, organically grown hemp panels. Organic hemp crops used to create carbon negative building materials have the added bonus of absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. The corrugated hemp panels are less expensive, durable and can be fixed with traditional screws and put to a wide range of uses in construction.

Pedal powered washing machines

Hmmm – not sure how popular this one will be but here goes. Washing machines gobble up huge quantities of energy, driving up your electricity bills in the process. A firm called Yirego has come up with a solution in the form of the ‘Drumi’, a washing machine that requires no electricity – just pedal power. The Drumi also reduces water usage and the innovators say it takes just five minutes of pushing the pedal up and down to wash, rinse and spin your laundry. Although it may not result in a rush of sales for home use, this pint-sized washing machine is perfect for travelling or camping. Surely the answer to your clothes wash blues when holidaying in your shepherd’s hut!

By Chris Willey
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