PLAEX Building Systems Inc., a Canada-based startup, has created recycled plastic bricks that resemble Lego blocks.

Dubbed PLAEX-crete — which stands for PL-astic, A-ggregate, and EX-truder — the blocks are described by the startup as lightweight, durable and eco-friendly and are intended to make the construction process easier.

Source: PLAEX Building Systems Inc.Source: PLAEX Building Systems Inc.

According to the company, the bricks, which are composed of a composite material with more than 90% recycled plastic, resemble concrete in both appearance and texture, yet they do not encounter issues that commonly plague traditional concrete — specifically water absorption, decomposition, splitting and cracking.

To create the bricks, the team sourced plastics, including PETE, LDPE, PP and HDPE, from partners involved in extended producer responsibility (EPR) initiatives. Such plastics are largely obtained from farm and agricultural waste, the startup added.

Once collected, the plastic is processed through an extruder to create a paste-like substance with a cement-like texture, which accounts for the majority of the finished product. The remaining 10% of the material is composed of a mix of colorants, UV inhibitors and flame retardants.

According to the startup, the final PLAEX-crete block is roughly 35% lighter than a traditional brick of similar size.

The company reportedly uses the waste materials to produce two types of blocks: LinX blocks, which are used for landscape walls and circular angling, and Brick&Panel blocks, which are used for wall construction — both of which can withstand loads without deforming or collapsing.

Further, the PLAEX-crete building blocks are interlocking, so that there is no cutting or mortar required.

“PLAEX products divert huge amounts of currently unused plastic and aggregate waste destined for the landfill. No trees have to be cut, and the amount of cement products needed for new builds is drastically reduced when using our system, which hugely reduces the carbon footprint of new construction,” the website explained.

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