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Coming Soon: Buildings Made from Recycled Plastic and Mexico's Tequila Waste

Eat Drink Better
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March 24, 2015

The company Plastinova is working with two local tequila-makers in Jalisco, Mexico to turn leftovers from making tequila into a composite building material. The leftovers – called agave bagasse – are key to creating this recycled composite lumber that’s stronger and more durable than the ones on the market today.

Agave bagasse wasn’t exactly piling into landfills before Plastinova started working on this new building material, though. Before Plastinova came on the scene, companies were using the organic material to fuel boilers. It took some negotiating to get these tequila companies to sell their agave bagasse to Plastinova, and that’s definitely going to impact the finished product’s price.

It basically takes three steps to turn agave bagasse into a building material:

  • They physically remove the alcohol, sugar, bone, and shell, so just the fiber remains.
  • They dry the remaining fiber, then pulverize it into a powder.
  • They add a compatibilizing agent to make the powder behave like a plastic and interact well with the recycled plastic.

So, if agave bagasse wasn’t going to waste, why use it?

The agave bagasse is key to this material, because it’s stronger than materials like wheat straw that are in composite lumber currently on the market.

Read the rest at Eat Drink Better

  Check out Recyclers of Bucerias

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