Inge Sluijs is an artist and designer who is using a material called “Plasma Rock” to rethink how landfill waste can go to good use. Inhabitat reports that Sluijs is using a process that heats materials found in landfills at very high temperatures, essentially boiling them down until they make an extremely durable and non-toxic rock-like substance that can we used for all sorts of purposes.
Plasma gasification is a process that has been around for awhile, but the ways Sluijs is finding to use it are making people take another look at the renewable material.
It takes about 220 pounds of landfill material to make about 44 pounds of Plasma Rock. Though often formed into tiles, which is great for building, the rock starts as a powder, which can be shaped into a number of different things. Sluijs has been using her experiments with the material to bring attention to environmental issues in an area of Essex in the United Kingdom called Tilbury. The East Tilbury landfill is a coastal landfill site, which is a perennial worry as climate change contributes to rising sea levels and the potential for further ocean pollution from debris and toxic waste.
Sluijs uses the Plasma Rock to produce Tilbury Tiles, which she decorates and sells as souvenirs to draw people's attention to the issues at the landfill. She has also started making glass vases that incorporate flecks of the rock. On her website, Sluijs calls the project "The Rebirth of Waste," an appropriate name for a potential new resource that gives back right when it's been written off as garbage.
The City of London Corporation will be fully running on renewable energy by October in the city's most prominent business district. Under Mayor Sadiq Khan, England's capital city is quickly transforming toward sustainable solutions, just years after being ranked as the worst in the area.
Ikea announced multiple renewable targets that they plan to reach by 2030, which includes removing single-use plastic over the next few years, offering more home solar solutions, and to reduce their greenhouse gases by 80 percent compared to their levels in 2016.
China is slowing down local growth in the solar industry, which may not sound like progress, but the entire world benefits. Lower costs from Chinese manufacturers exporting their products will create higher rates of installation around the world.
The European Commission announced plans recently to further regulate single-use plastic, including outright banning certain items that have the most effect on marine pollution. These new rules would also require manufacturers to raise awareness and help with cleanup efforts.