Tag Archives: Environmental degradation

Green Business Ideas : Tall Buildings made from waste plastic is possible & its LCA is cheap – a builders delight and boon to Environmentalist

Business all over, in every Country is in flux. The fine tuning between Economic growth with least Environmental damage, while maintaining the modern life-style is challenging to say the least. But it is precisely during these challenging times, the World should go back and re-look at inventions – ignored during the ‘gold rush’ days in every sphere and bring forth into light others which are perhaps thriving in isolated pockets, but need the urgent attention to be brought out into the limelight and popularize it among the masses.

Thermo Polymerized Rock;  I did not even have the slightest idea that when I would sit down to write this article, every thing I would be asking the Green Building councils around the World to mull over, is already a ‘ open packet and serve’ solution. Affresol Modular Buildings are made from an innovative new structural product called TPR™ (Thermo Polymerized Rock).  It can be used to make the “Modular Buildings” and “Sectional House Frames” which have a Compressive Strength range 22 KN/mm2 to 38 KN/mm2. And perhaps there would be many more companies around the world doing the same. Its their time now. In India we have a Company Damanganga, which manufactures roofing and flooring sheets from waste, even some furniture, but I have not yet met a company which is making product like TPR.  Yes! the common people in the streets must know about it, not the intelligentsia discussing it in Five Star Hotel seminars.

BASIC countries (red) and other G20 countries ...

Image via Wikipedia

And if discussion indeed need to happen then it should be on how Tall Buildings in Asia can be made modular. And more so in the ever growing cities of South East Asia. Every one knows that in this economic gloom and doom period, the rising stars are the BASIC countries. India being one of them, would be having a revised projected growth of 5% to 6%  instead of 9%. And according to the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, this can by no stretch of imagination be called ‘recession’; slower growth maybe. Therefore The European Union which is facing an economic crisis can harbinger overall growth by exporting their technology and expertise on TPR, help stave plastic pollution and earn some goodwill along with money. It could be the beginning of a great green business idea.

Because, as the South East Asian Cities grow, they bring with them problems, many of which have been addressed in my earlier articles (; ). Mumbai and New Delhi both are signatories of C40 Cities program. In fact all over cities are looking to become Climate responsive. In this back drop, it would be one of the finest engineering goals for the Construction industry to devise about how Tall buildings in India can be built with TPR.

Imagine – 50 years down the line, all one has to do is dismantle section by section a whole sky scraper  and pack it of for recycling. No construction debris, no brown-field sites filled with plastic. Having popularized the method, one can just start mapping the embodied energy saved, from limiting the use of cement  & concrete, paint and other conventional building materials. Also, the basic being plastic, one can have thinner walls which are both sound proof as well as lighter in weight. This would surely reduce the structural steel and make more carpet area  to wall space  ratio .

A winner in every way, for now each plastic bag, article which was discarded without a thought would be a valuable article to be segregated and sold. Perhaps enterprising companies would trawl the ocean floors near the countless beaches and gather the plastics which as of now are cause of Environmental hazard!


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Green Business Ideas : Plastic Currency can reduce pollution & deforestation

Two images juxtaposed in my mind –  The neat bundle of plastic duplicate banknotes I saw stacked in the famous game MONOPOLY 


the image of my recent trip to a far suburb of my city, where upon landing into the station I was met with ankle deep plastic waste, strewn everywhere and the calm and composed faces of my fellow travelers who were merrily walking over the filth and adding to the pile.

A catastrophe that can be arrested. By innovative ideas which  can, at once put value to the waste and create new business avenue.  Use Polymer Bank Notes and Coins and plastic bricks to build homes.

The banknote was first developed in China during the Tang and Song dynasties, starting in the 7th century. Its roots were in merchant receipts of deposit during the Tang Dynasty (618–907), as merchants and wholesalers desired to avoid the heavy bulk of copper coinage in large commercial transactions. During the Yuan Dynasty, banknotes were adopted by the Mongol Empire. In Europe, the concept of banknotes was first introduced during the 14th century, with proper banknotes appearing in the 17th century.

Polymer banknotes were developed by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and The University of Melbourne and were first issued as currency in Australia in 1988. These banknotes are made from the polymer biaxially-oriented polypropylene (BOPP) which greatly enhances durability of the banknotes. Polymer banknotes also incorporate many security features not available to paper banknotes, making counterfeiting much more difficult.

Therefore when the 194 member nations of the UN meet at Rio+20, its also time to focus on basics. Environmental degradation can be arrested only when we start to look closely at ourselves,within our pockets one can say. It is time the world shifts from traditional paper and metal currency. There is clear and present danger of Environmental degradation due to man made activities which include mining and logging. Paper and metal currency around the world are a large consumer of this activity.

However would it not be a masterstroke of good governance should the Governments decide to recycle all the plastic by calling upon SME’s to collect and convert waste plastic into billets which having passed the quality standards required extruded to  make plastic concrete  or plastic walls to solve the low cost housing problem, especially in India and other emerging Nations. And who knows once people come to know that these walls solves the problem of repair and maintenance to a great extent, even adapt it for high rise. With 40% of world GHG emission coming from building related activity and 60% of pollution are generated from building waste this should be a focus area.

While it is true that plastic recycling is energy intensive, here too a series of good governance could reduce the problem of economic feasibility. Geo-thermal energy should be given incentives. A solution which has no fall out and at half the cost of Nuclear must be treated with respect. So by making available perpetual and abundant energy recycling plastic to make Banknotes would be worth the thought. And if recycled plastic can not meet required quality or demand, its high time petroleum is better used by making of plastic rather than burning it as a fossil fuel thus limiting CO2e emissions.


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