From Plastic Waste to “Green Concrete”: Sino Group Partners with EcoBricks to Inaugurate Sustainable Solutions for the Built Environment
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An inaugural partnership between Hong Kong real estate developer Sino Group and local sustainability-focused startup EcoBricks upcycled over 5,400 kg of plastic waste into construction bricks at the city’s Gold Coast in the Tuen Mun district.
Across Asia, our plastic addiction is clogging up landfills, rivers and oceans. Latest available data shows the region is responsible for 80% of the estimated 13 million tonnes of plastic waste that enter the world’s oceans every year. Here in Hong Kong, the situation is similar – less than 11% of our total plastic waste is recycled and recycling facilities are currently unable to process most types of plastic due to limited demand and high structural costs.
As part of its commitment to sustainable and green development, Sino Group has announced its collaboration with circular startup EcoBricks to fight plastic waste in Hong Kong by converting upcycled plastic into “green concrete” bricks that can be used in a range of industry-standard construction projects thanks to proprietary low-energy 100% cold production process that involves no heating or melting of waste plastics, thus bypassing harmful emissions and pollutants.
“Sino Group is dedicated to making sustainability a driver of our business, and exploring innovative solutions that shape a healthier and more sustainable environment. We are excited that this vision has been realised through this partnership and the EcoBricks project at Gold Coast,” said David Ng, Group Associate Director of Sino Group.
Sino Group x EcoBricks: An ideal circular economy solution
Over 15,000 EcoBricks were used at the Gold Coast Piazza in Tuen Mun to pave the Promenade and line the Leaf Path. The bricks were made from the plastic from over 560 old washing machines, equal to over 5,400 kg of plastic waste.
“We are incredibly thankful for the pivotal role that Sino Group has played in offering invaluable guidance and support from the very start of our journey, enabling us to turn our innovative concept into reality,” said Shervin Sharghy, Founder of EcoBricks.
After the success of this inaugural partnership, Sino Group is deploying EcoBricks at other suitable properties in its portfolio, including Olympian City and The Fullerton Ocean Park Hotel Hong Kong, and will engage tenants and customers in awareness building around plastic waste and promoting the concept of circular economy.
On the journey towards net zero carbon by 2050
At the launching ceremony earlier, Mr Wong Kam-sing, GBS, JP, Hong Kong’s Secretary for the Environment, who officiated the event said Sino Group’s commitment to Hong Kong and innovation, was in line with the city’s target to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
“I am delighted to see Sino Group leveraging innovation and technology to transform plastic waste into construction materials, with a view to exploring new ways to strengthen local resource recycling. To achieve the targets and visions set out in the ‘Waste Blueprint for Hong Kong 2035’ and the ‘Hong Kong’s Climate Action Plan 2050’, technology breakthroughs and the participation of the whole community are both crucial,” he said.
Sino Group continues its efforts to reduce and recycle single-use plastics as part of the commitments under the “Decarbonisation Blueprint” announced recently, that sets a holistic roadmap to strive for net zero carbon by 2050.
First-of-its-kind open platform to showcase prop tech innovation
Since launching its prop-tech sandbox platform, Sino Inno lab (the “Lab”), in 2018, Sino Group has screened over 600 innovation projects, featured over 100 at the Lab and welcomed over 8,000 visitations from 1,000 groups including industry peers, innovators, industry associations, professional bodies, government departments, universities and schools to showcase solutions that can benefit Hong Kong’s real estate industry.
The property leader is committed to supporting innovation and technology advancements that can boost Hong Kong’s competitiveness and offer solutions that put the environment first. Their partnership with EcoBricks, supported by the Lab, is a key step towards realising Sino Group’s vision.
“Sino Inno Lab provides a sandbox platform to support start-ups to develop innovative PropTech solutions that benefit the industry,“ added Ng, “The Group is committed to developing a platform to promote the concept of circular economy, through engaging different stakeholders and nurturing startups for the application of innovative solutions to environmental issues and promoting the importance of sustainability.”
EcoBricks: Giving plastic waste a second life
EcoBricks is on a mission to transform waste into high-quality and sustainable construction materials. The award-winning startup, which was founded by Sharghy in Hong Kong in 2020, creates construction-ready bricks made from upcycled plastic waste. The bricks are made locally from domestic waste and are used in Hong Kong building projects. Not only does EcoBricks offer a new life to all seven types of plastics, most of which cannot be recycled easily or at all, the startup helps to offset the need for virgin raw materials used in construction bricks, further conserving precious resources and saving on unnecessary CO2 emissions.
“Our founding vision was of a scalable circular economy solution that would increase recycling rates whilst at the same time providing more sustainable solutions for our built environment. EcoBricks targets hard to recycle plastic waste that very often ends up in landfills or our natural environment,” said Sharghy.
For every 100 sqm of EcoBricks paving, the startup diverts over 2,000kg of plastic waste from landfill, the equivalent of over 200,000 plastic bottles. To date, EcoBricks has successfully upcycled over 21 tonnes of plastic waste for its current projects and projects underway. In recognition of its exceptional achievements, EcoBricks has been awarded the Gold Medal with the Congratulations of the Jury at the 2022 Special Edition of the Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions.
All images and graphics courtesy of Sino Group. Lead image: The Gold Coast Piazza Promenade paved with EcoBricks.
This is a Green Queen Partner Post.