LIHUE, HAWAII (STL.News) – Island School in Lihue, Kauai is hosting a blessing and dedication of its new athletic pavilion, which will be the first-ever permanent structure in the United States built with ByBlock, a construction material made entirely from previously unrecyclable plastic waste.
The ceremony will take place 9:00-10:00 a.m., on Wednesday, July 31, at the school’s new athletic pavilion, which diverts 2.4 tons of plastic waste that would have otherwise gone to the landfill, incinerator or the ocean. In attendance will be Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami, Head of Island School Shannon Graves, Surfrider representatives, and ByFusion CEO Heidi Kujawa.
ByFusion, a new company launching in the US later this year to solve the plastic pollution crisis, donated the ByBlock for the structure. These ByBlock were produced by ByFusion’s patented system called the Blocker, using all types of plastic waste, including marine debris and derelict fishing nets that Surfrider Foundation Kauai Chapter collected off Kauai’s beaches. This athletic pavilion is a Surfrider project funded by Schmidt Marine Technology Partners.
“We had been doing beach cleanups and collected more than 10,000 pounds of marine debris each month but were in a quandary with what to do with it,” said Senior Scientist for Kauai Chapter of Surfrider Foundation Dr. Carl Berg. “Previously we were sending it to Honolulu’s H-Power for incineration, but we realized that incineration produced both toxic and greenhouse gas emissions so we wanted to find an alternative method that could handle large quantities of plastic waste.”
ByFusion has been working with the Kauai Surfrider Foundation Chapter leaders for years to configure its Blocker system to produce ByBlock made with marine debris and derelict fishing nets without needing to clean or sort it.
“Today marks a special moment for Hawaii and other island nations,” said ByFusion’s CEO Kujawa. “We are thankful for the leadership, trust, patience and partnership the Kauai Chapter of Surfrider Foundation has demonstrated on this journey. Their support has enabled us to advance our technology to combat the plastic pollution crisis our world faces during a time when we need it the most.”
ByFusion’s Blocker systems process any type of plastic waste into a product that is the same size as a common hollow cement block. The Blocker is eco-friendly and uses no chemicals, additives, adhesives, or fillers.
“Everyone is anxiously waiting to see how the build goes,” said Dr. Berg. “If it works, we hope to bring a Blocker to Hawaii to deal with our plastic waste and start printing out ByBlock. It would be a proof of concept that we could show the world that if it actually works here, then it could be used for any island group around the world that is struggling to deal with its plastic.”
Kauai’s Brower Construction broke ground at Island School on May 24, 2019. The construction crew finished the pavilion with stucco, leaving a small window exposed to display the ByBlock made with marine debris.
“The ByBlocks went up fast and easy,” said General Contractor Rob Brower. “When you see how the finished product looks, it’s clear that ByBlock is a great way to give plastic waste a responsible end use. They seem to have great R value and sound proofing qualities.”
The project included a donation of services by Brower Construction, Architects Kauai, Island Truss, Kick Ass Concrete, Mahelona Sheet Metal Fabrication, and Pacific Plaster & Stucco and was a great accomplishment of communal effort.
ByFusion is currently ramping up US manufacturing in preparation for an exclusive beta program with select waste management companies, recycling facilities and corporations later this year. Details of the program will be released by October 2019.
Earlier this summer on June 8, ByFusion used ByBlock to build a lifeguard station in Los Angeles, California, in celebration of World Oceans Day, demonstrating the myriad of structures the product can build. The event attracted the presence of Senator Ben Allen, Manhattan Beach Mayor Nancy Hersman, the Discoverer of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch Captain Charles Moore, and Professional Big Wave Surfer Alex Gray. Andrew DeBlock, a representative of Senator Al Muratsuchi’s office, presented ByFusion with a California Legislature Assembly Certificate of Recognition for their efforts towards solving the plastic waste crisis and commitment to the environment.
ByFusion® is an innovative manufacturing company committed to preserving the recycling industry, protecting the environment and giving plastic a new life by reshaping its future.
A certified B Corporation, and an essential cog in the wheel of a circular economy, ByFusion has a patented process that converts all types of plastic waste into an advanced building material called ByBlock®. ByFusion’s recycling solution enables communities, corporations, and governments to realize a cleaner world while creating jobs, improving infrastructure and revitalizing neighborhoods. ByFusion has been recognized with distinctions and awards such as Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas 2019, 1% for the Planet’s 2018 Business Member Innovation of the Year, and 2016 Waste Dive Most Disruptive Innovation of the Year Award.