'Brick 2.0' is the invention of Dr. Binish Desai aka the Recycle Man of India, and it is 3 times more durable than the conventional bricks.
The deadly COVID-19 has not just taken lives but has also resulted in a lot of waste. The PPE kits and the masks are being thrown in the dustbin after a few uses, and after a while, they end up in the oceans becoming COVID waste. Seeing this, Dr. Binish Desai stood up, went into his lab, and invented Brick 2.0 which is made of PPE face masks and is stronger than the conventional bricks.
"When COVID-19 started to spread in the country it gave me eco-anxiety as there was a 200% increase in the utilization of PPE kits. I knew that these PPE were going to be used only one time, and then will be discarded off. I saw these photographs of how they were ending up in the oceans and that gave me eco-anxiety.", said Desai.
Desai then started working in his lab at his place. He did a couple of experiments on the line, and then finally after trying multiple times, he had the prototype of Brick 2.0. After the lockdown restrictions were eased a bit, he got some commercial manufacturing done at his premise. After which he tested the final product. " Bricks 2.0 is 3 times stronger and durable than conventional bricks.", he said
"We do not believe in a centralized system, thus we are planning to have multiple factories all around the country. We don't just want to convert waste into products, but also want to make a social and economic impact in different areas. Currently, we are requesting people to collect as much as PPE in a way that is not carbon positive. They can send it to us and then we will convert them into bricks.", he says.
Dr.Binish started with 5000 bricks a day, but then due to the intense second wave of COVID-19, he had to reduce the numbers. " At this moment we are making around 1200 bricks a day. But, in the next 20 days, we will ramp up our production.", he added.
Dr. Binish Desai aka India's Recycle Man, began his journey of recycling when he was just 10. He created bricks with chewing gum and paper at the age of 11. In 2016, He started his company to make eco-conscious products. We convert waste into eco-economical and social innovations and have more than 150 products from crockery to bricks to home decor products to jewellery and everything made out of different wastes." Captain planet and Dexter used to my favourites. They were my inspiration. I was 11 when I came up with my first brick, and that's how it all began.", he says.
Since his company is a technology developer, once they develop technology, they give it out to the relevant companies and brands. The same will happen to Bricks 2.0. " We are opening up in Chhattisgarh, Punjab, and Bengaluru. So, the recipe is now in our hands, and we are offering it to those who are can work with us. That's how we do the production.", he said.
A lot of people call these bricks as Corona bricks as it is made of PPE. But it's totally safe. We have a 3 step process that we follow. Before it is sent to us, it is kept in isolation for 72 hours. Once we receive these PPE masks we wash them with disinfectants, and then we keep repeating them. With all these precautions it is even cleaner than the virgin materials. These bricks are normal and durable.
Eco Lights Studio
Brick 2.0 is just one out of 150+ products Dr.Binish Desai and his team are working on. In 2018, he founded Eco Lights Studio, which aims at empowering women in different villages. Team Eco Lights Studio has helped many women who once were sex workers and now have become entrepreneurs. They make handmade products and are currently making crockery out of coffee and tea wastes.
" We were working on one of the projects in a remote rural area, and the lady came and started fighting with me saying I don't have enough money to pay for this infrastructure. That struck me. I realized that it is not the infrastructure that we require, but also how we need to empower these women too. So, I decided if we can't call them to the factory, let's take the factory to them, and that's how the entire concept came to mind.", he added.
Constructing cheaper toilets!
One of the most important projects that Dr. Binish Desai works on is about constructing the cheapest toilets in the most remote areas. Desai has built more than 1,000 toilets in such areas that start from Rs. 9000 to Rs.30,000, depending upon the size and the type of toilet built.
"We have a system where we follow certain parameters to construct toilets. But, we make changes according to the village. So, it was a very remote area in a hilly location. The local bodies had constructed a few toilets but the villagers were not using them. I check a few of them and found that every toilet was clogged up. After investigation, I came to know that the localite eats a lot of fibrous food, and hence, the fecal matter was long and fibrous too. With the conventional P-Trap, it blocks easily. So, we added a 4-inch pipe between the P-trap and the commode, and it worked. We then convinced the villagers to start using them", he said.
Dr.Binish is indeed one of the most talented inventors we have in the country. There's no doubt that his invention Brick 2.0 is a saviour. Thankfully we have a solution because if it wasn't there COVID waste would have become a huge issue. Check Desai's work on his website here.