The Center for Regenerative Design and Collaboration South Africa (CRDC SA) has won a Dow Business Impact Fund Award worth $100 000. CRDC SA can now scale its operations and mass produce its concrete modifier, Resin8, which is made from plastic waste. The worldwide patented construction material decreases the weight and improves the insulation of concrete applications.
In essence, the Dow funding has helped incubate the CRDC operation in South Africa and, as a result, made it possible to secure independent finance, partner with major construction partners, and engage with more stakeholders and role-players across the entire plastics value chain, including black-owned SMME recyclers, waste management companies, researchers, and consumer goods brand owners.
Supporting social impact projects
The Dow Business Impact Fund is a competitive grant programme with more than $1m of annual funding to support social impact projects in partnership with non-profit or non-governmental organisations that spotlight business solutions. CRDC SA was awarded the award in recognition of how the Resin8 product will have a positive impact on both people and planet. In awarding the funding, Dow monitored CRDC’s progress to date, and specifically its product testing, intake (of plastic waste), off-take (Resin8 applications) and the requisite scalability. The pilot plant in South Africa has now created 10 permanent jobs and used 20 tonnes of plastic (that would have been destined for landfill) to make Resin8 for construction.
CRDC Global was founded in Costa Rica and Dow was impressed by the company’s global vision for establishing Resin8 plants around the world. Dow Costa Rica new business developer Jose Barquero says: “The fact that such a revolutionary product could seriously eliminate the world’s plastic waste and that it was born in Costa Rica was important, given Costa Rica’s reputation for adopting and leading sustainable and ecological policies and initiatives.
“We believe Resin8 is the key to tackling our global plastic waste problem and we want to give a strong signal to the world about the importance of scaling the production of Resin8. We are very proud that CRDC is now able to accelerate its roll-out in South Africa.”
Resin8 a driver for good
Africa sustainability and advocacy manager (packaging and specialty plastics) at Dow for EMEA Adwoa Coleman adds: “CRDC South Africa has made great headway with the various industries it needs to collaborate with – namely, the consumer plastic producers and plastic waste collectors, the off-takers (the construction industry) and the government. At Dow, we strongly believe that plastic is too valuable a resource to be thrown away or lost to landfill, so it is imperative to help get this important sustainable product to market. We are delighted to be collaborating with other partners to ensure Resin8 is a driver for good in South Africa, on the African continent and, indeed, throughout the world.”
The plan is for CRDC SA to have 21 Resin8 plants in South Africa, operating at full capacity, within five years, using 250,000 tonnes of plastic waste annually.
CRDC SA business and communications director Deon Robbertze says: “By working with consumer plastic producers, such as Pepsico and Tiger Brands, and with waste collectors, such as Wasteplan, we have the feedstock to make this happen. By working closely with the construction industry, we will create a supply stream for high-quality construction materials. This creates a perfect solution to three of our most pressing issues: the recovery of waste plastics from the environment, job creation and the housing deficit.
“Our aim is for Resin8 to become the new industrial feedstock aggregate for the construction industry – and thereby help benefit every sector of society. We’re so proud to have won the Dow award; it marks a turning point in our development.”