Plastic Bags as Bricks

The country of Niger has the same problem that Bombay was faced with a while ago. The ubiquitous plastic bag.

They have come up with an innovative solution

But for the rest of the world, plastic bags are now consumed in staggering numbers and are responsible for massive disposal problems including unsightly litter and flooding.

Made of polyethylene, they are also hazardous to manufacture and take up to 1,000 years to decompose.

Rather than going to a ban or to bangles, Niger is turning its bags into filler for its perpetually crumbling roads.

In an experimental project financed by the European Union, bricks of the plastic sacks are being used to fill potholes around Niamey.

The government of Niger buys used plastic bags for 25 CFA francs, (about three cents) per kilo, then compresses them with a new ceramic mold technology and binds them into bricks.

“Weve found a system that works remarkably well,” explained EU expert Paolo Gigli.

“The bags are melted and transformed into bricks with a cement mold, which saves time and money. The plastic bricks are then used to fill a pothole, and covered with earth or cement.”

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