Recycled Plastic Becomes Structural by Axion International

The construction of a 2,000 sqft house produces an average of 8,000 lbs of waste. It is estimated that 25-40% of waste in landfills is construction related. While finish materials and furniture are an important part of the design process, the structural materials within a building account for much more of the waste created. Structural materials are typically steel, wood, concrete and other types of masonry. The recyclability of these materials is, costly and energy intensive. Making the structural elements of a building more sustainable means making them more easily recycled.

Structural thermoplastic material. Developed by Axion International in collaboration with Rutgers University.

Axion International

is a New Jersey based company that has developed a structural thermoplastic material in conjunction with a team of scientists at Rutgers University. Plastic composite materials are nothing new, but until now they have been excluded from structural applications. Not only is the material rot-, rust- and corrosion-free, it also significantly reduces the need for ongoing maintenance. The plastics, which have undergone American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) testing but are not yet code-listed with the International Code Council (ICC).

Recycled Plastic Becomes Structural by Axion International

100 million metric tons of plastic are discarded annually. Axion purchases used plastics bound for municipal recycling and industrial waste streams, such as milk jugs, detergent bottles, and car bumpers. The collected plastics are blended using proprietary formulations, melted in an extruder, and molded into functional building shapes which are nearly 100% recycled plastic. The end result is a price competitive material that is easily installed, requiring no special tools or training which makes for an easy transition into a more sustainable building product.


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