Coronavirus medical waste like used gloves, PPE kits, and other single-use products have now become a new sort of pollution as these are flooding our ocean.
To recycle 89 million of waste from oceans and help our earth breath, 27- year-old environmentalist and innovator from Gujarat- Dr Binish Desai- popularly known as the Recycle Man of India- has come up with a sustainable solution.
He has developed eco-friendly bricks out of discarded non-woven PPE kits, single-use masks and head covers to lower the burden on the environment.
Binish is also the founder of the company BDream which mainly focusses on scheming technologies to reuse manufacturing waste and transform it into sustainable building material.
As per a report published in the National Green Tribunal by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), along with the normal biomedical waste of about 609 MT/ day, India generates almost 101 Metric Tonnes of COVID-19 related biomedical waste every day.
The contaminated waste has been thrown away in the oceans, which are polluting our seabeds. Hence, it is required that world leaders, politicians, researchers, scientists and environmentalists take actions to tackle marine pollution and improve ocean health.
Before these eco-bricks, Binish had made P-bricks, which were mainly made from plant extracts, paper waste, leftovers of chewing gums and some organic binders.
The latest eco-bricks or p-block 2.0 bricks are made from 52 percent of the torn masks and PPE kits, 45 percent of paper waste and 3 percent of the binder. These bricks are fire retardant, water repellant and pest resistant.
According to Binish, he used a similar process for making this brick, which he used to form those p-blocks. He said, “I added PPE made from non-woven fabric which includes masks, gowns, and head-covers. I started experimenting with the method in my home-lab, and soon made a few in my factory,”
As soon as the bricks are formed, he sent them to a local lab to test and authorize as during this pandemic it is quite difficult to reach the national laboratory.
“We could not approach national-level labs for certification owing to the pandemic. But we got it approved from a government-accredited laboratory. During the prototype testing, it passed all the durability tests, and even surpassed expectations on the quality,” says Binish.
Size of the Brick
The size of the brick is 12 x 8 x 4 inches. He used 7 kg of biomedical waste per square foot. Binish claims that the weight of this brick is lesser as compared to P-Block 1.0 and it is also stronger than the former one. The cost P-Block 2.0 brick is Rs 2.8 per piece.
The Process of Biomedical Waste Collection
Binish placed ‘Eco Bins’ to the hospitals, schools, salons, bus stops and other public places where people or staff are using medical-grade masks or PPE kits to collect the biomedical waste.
There is an indication mark in each of the bins to show that it is full. Once the waste reaches that mark, it is left untouched for almost the next 3 days. At the end of 72 hours, the waste is disinfected thoroughly. After that, the waste is shredded, mixed along with paper slurry and the binding agent.
Once the process of mixing is finished, there are cut in the form of bricks. Once developed, these bricks can be used for construction purposes.
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*Image courtesy: The Hindu
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