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This Young Jamaican Entrepreneur Wants to Transform Plastic Waste into Pavements

Transform Plastic Waste into Pavements

Zara Harris, founder of ReBuild and a student at University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica, isn’t waiting for an answer to plastics pollution – she’s created her own solution. Harris has developed a process that transforms recycled, non-biodegradable plastics into heat-resistant building tiles and pavement squares.

The unique new products have the power to significantly reduce plastic pollution and they have additional benefits. The tiles and pavement squares don’t reflect sunlight back into the environment like traditional building materials so surroundings stay cooler. They also facilitate water run-off from storms and only non-potable water is used in the production process.

Harris plans to begin with the tiles and squares and hopes to eventually expand operations to include the patching and construction of roadways later on. Her process will have far-reaching effects for Jamaica and the world. The company will provide jobs in Jamaica, contribute to the island’s economic growth, and provide an eco-friendly building material for worldwide use.

The young entrepreneur is definitely making her mark on the world. She was selected by the Caribbean Climate Innovation Centre (CCIC) to participate in the ClimateLaunchpad Global Grand Final 2019 held in Nov. in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The CCIC is committed to fighting climate change through innovation and entrepreneurship. Over 100 teams representing more than 50 countries competed at the event to arrive at the best green business ideas.

The solution developed by Harris is particularly timely. A full 22 percent of households in the Caribbean don’t dispose of their waste properly. Statistics show that 30 percent of that waste is comprised of plastics that find its way back to the island and into the ocean as pollution.

Harris is one of a growing number of young entrepreneurs that are creating their own eco-friendly answers to global problems. Her unique solution has the potential to bring about revolutionary change in Jamaica and the world.

Photo source: Zara Harris LinkedIn 

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Denise Lee