A new upcycling machine turns waste fabric into building materials

Waste is a problem the world over; on every continent, leaders and activists are trying to change the way in which we create and recycle our waste products. Although there are challenges for inner cities, recycling in remote areas becomes even more difficult; however, Chinese company Miniwiz believes it has developed technology that solves the problem.

A new upcycling machine turns waste fabric into building materials

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Enter the action hero

Miniwiz launched its Trashpresso mobile recycling unit on Earth Day 2017 (22 April). Joined by action hero Jackie Chan, the event was captured by National Geographic in its feature on the actor and his environmental activism.

The Trashpresso is the same size as a standard shipping container – 40 feet long – and can be transported by tractor trailer from location to location. It is this portability that makes Trashpresso truly innovative, taking recycling away from industrial units to where it is most needed.

Solar panels on the exterior self-power the unit, which recycles plastic and fabric waste. Using a process that involves washing, melting and moulding, the Trashpresso converts waste into hexagonal plastic tiles at a rate of over 10 square feet every 40 minutes. These tiles can be used in both indoor and outdoor applications.

A new upcycling machine turns waste fabric into building materials2

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It is not only the materials that get recycled – the water that Trashpresso uses is also recycled and re-used, giving the unit very impressive environmental credentials.

Global recycling

The use of recycled and recyclable materials is on the increase as countries worldwide try to meet ambitious targets. Whether empty plastic bottle of water or the school canopies your children shelter under, manufacturers are increasingly looking to improve the materials they use; for example, companies such as http://signaturestructures.com/school-canopies/ construct their school canopies from PVC material, which is fully recyclable. It is reassuring to know that today’s PVC could become tomorrow’s floor tiles thanks to the technology Miniwiz has developed.

Businesses that tackle recycling are also on the increase in the UK, with a feature in the Guardian exploring some recent initiatives to tackle global warming and turn a profit.

Although these UK-based initiatives may not have the athletic Jackie Chan to back them, they are still worthy of interest. The technology being developed by Miniwiz and others across the world may well be our best hope in tackling climate change.

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