By Karey Evett

The Center for Regenerative Design and Collaboration South Africa (CRDC SA) has won a Dow Business Impact Fund Award worth US$100 000.  This funding is good news for South Africa because CRDC SA can now scale its operations and mass produce its breakthrough concrete modifier, RESIN8™, which is made from plastic waste.  This will not only help rid the country of its plastic waste problem but also, critically, help build communities and infrastructure.  

CRDC’s RESIN8™ is a worldwide patented construction material that decreases the weight and improves the insulation of concrete applications and, through collaboration with and investment by key role players, will be used to help build South Africa. 

Dow, the world’s leading chemical and scientific materials company, is founded upon a belief in collaboration and in rewarding joint efforts that bring about sustainable solutions. The Dow Business Impact Fund is a competitive grant program containing more than $1MM of annual funding to support social impact projects in partnership with nonprofit or non-governmental organisations that spotlight business solutions.  CRDC SA was awarded the Fund Award in recognition of how the RESIN8™ product will have a positive impact on both people and planet.  In awarding the funding, Dow monitored CRDC’s progress to date, and specifically its product testing, intake (of plastic waste), off-take (RESIN8 applications) and the requisite scalability.  The pilot plant in South Africa has now created ten permanent jobs and used 20 tons of plastic (that would have been destined for landfill) to make RESIN8 for construction.

CRDC Global was founded in Costa Rica . The fact that such a revolutionary product could seriously eliminate the world’s plastic waste and that it was born in Costa Rica was important, given Costa Rica’s reputation for adopting and leading sustainable and ecological policies and initiatives.  

The plan is for CRDC SA to have 21 RESIN8™ plants in South Africa, operating at full capacity, within five years.   The plants will use 250 000 tons of plastic waste every year – plastic waste that might have been destined for onward damage in landfill sites, the wasteland, and the oceans.   CRDC SA, essentially, is spearheading the biggest and most effective initiative to eradicate the massive plastic waste problem in South Africa.

CRDC SA Business and Communications Director, Deon Robbertze says: “By working with consumer plastic producers, such as Pepsico and Tiger Brands, and with waste collectors, such as Wasteplan, we have the feedstock to make this happen.  By working closely with the construction industry, we will create a supply stream for high-quality construction materials.  This creates a perfect solution to three of our most pressing issues: the recovery of waste plastics from the environment, job creation and the housing deficit. 

“Our aim is for RESIN8 to become the new industrial feedstock aggregate for the construction industry – and thereby help benefit every sector of society.  We’re so proud to have won the Dow award; it marks a turning point in our development.”

About RESIN8™ – the concrete solution to plastic waste

§  RESIN8is a breakthrough concrete modifier made from mixed plastic waste.  It is the only aggregate made from plastic waste that meets the standards and needs of the construction industry.

–          Modifies all structural and non-structural concrete products.

–          Structural applications use between 3% – 10% RESIN8in the concrete mix design.

–          Non-structural applications use up to 25% RESIN8 in the concrete mix design.

§  RESIN8ACCEPTS all types of mixed and dirty Remediated Plastic Waste (Resins 1-7).

§  RESIN8CONVERTS to a high-value concrete modifier that perfectly simulates construction sand.

§  RESIN8IMPROVES structural, thermal, and environmental properties of concrete products.

·         Just one RESIN8 plant will eliminate 11,760 tons of plastic per annum.

About CRDC Global

CRDC, The Center for Regenerative Design and Collaboration, is a Costa Rican company, founded in 2010 as a volunteer-based beach clean-up program and is presently recognised internationally for its contributions towards sustainable product design. CRDC is comprised of a diverse, multi-disciplinary group of world-class associates, experts in the packaging and food/beverage industries, conservationists and award-winning designers working together to create products, industrial processes and economic models that provide economic, social, and environmental benefits.

CRDC Global vision

REAP (Recover | Enrich | Appreciate | Prosper) is a collaborative, Net-Zero focused circular economy business model, inspired by biomimicry. It creates inter-relationships between diverse industries where the waste stream of one becomes the value stream for the next, where the sum of the output is greater than the sum of all the inputs and finally, where consumption becomes regenerative:

•             NET Zero-Waste and contamination through planned recovery.

•             Regenerate and enrich natural systems while coexisting within them.

•             Keep resources in use and appreciate the maximum value while preserving them.