Solution Overview & Team Lead Details

Solution name.


Provide a one-line summary of your solution.

A material created from Construction-Demolition waste and Plastic waste produced in India using the existing system of stakeholders and services. 

What specific problem are you trying to solve?

There is an ever growing need for new construction to take place to cater to the rising population of the country and world which adds to the need for homes, schools, leisure areas, hospitals, office spaces, etc. To build new, the old needs to be dilapidated which results in the creation of concrete rubble, iron rods, tile waste, namely construction and demolition waste. Less than 1% of the construction and demolition waste is put to use in India and the rest ends up in landfills which release huge tons of dust  causing respiratory illnesses for people residing around. 

Yet another waste that poses a threat to earth is plastic. As much of a friend the material has been to human kind, it has equally been a foe. According to  the statistics, India produces about 150 million tons of construction waste every year but in addition to that, about 62 million tons of plastic waste is produced annually. Out of this only 40% of the plastic waste is treated whereas the rest of waste ends up in water bodies, oceans or landfills. This releases toxic chemicals into the atmosphere which eventually becomes the cause of respiratory illness in not just humans but it affects birds, insects and other animals as well. As a result of this, approximately 1,50,000 animals die each year, about 55 million people suffer from respiratory illness and about 45,000 people lack access to clean water. In addition to this, the untreated plastic also chokes the drainage and river systems. It litters the marine ecosystem. Without a doubt, Urbanization, expansion of cities, human greed, increase in population and consumption are a few of the many causes of this inevitable problem.

There is a significant need to reuse the waste and put it back into the system to ensure a sustainable ecosystem. Bringing this waste produced from the respective industries and developing a material which can cater to making of manufacturing goods is the objective of the project. 

With the goal of reducing about 35% of carbon emissions by 2030 for India, it is a prior necessity for us to take steps towards a sustainable future. It can start by using this material to  develop solutions for the daily products we use and clean up the environment from harmful pollutants.

Elevator pitch

What is your solution?

Placolite is a potential solution to create a sustainable and dignified ecosystem that can reinvent construction waste by combining the increasing plastic waste with boundless construction waste. The material solves both the plastic and Construction & demolition waste problem in India by giving the waste an alternative use. 

Placolite is 2.5 times stronger and 2 times lighter than a usual mud brick produced in India. The added advantage of the material is its versatility. It can be molded into various forms and shapes with different strengths and properties, which helps open up immense possibilities in the field of furniture, cladding, tiles, corrugated sheet, sheets, bricks, hollow core slabs and building material. 

To talk about the process of making the material in detail, Placolite would source its raw material from the dump sites, landfills and treatment centers. With the presence of and upcoming Construction and Demolition waste treatment centers, we would tie partnerships with respective organizations both government and private to source the waste. The boulders will then be broken down into various sizes of aggregate and rocks at the center as per requirement. Using industrial sterilization and cleaning processes the plastic will then be shredded using a plastic shredder. The plastic and the aggregate will then be mixed in the right compositions depending on the final products. The mixtures will then either be fused by compression under measurable heat or be used under controlled temperature methods to convert plastic into fluid binder in a furnace which will later be molded into the products. Manufacturing processes like press molding, extrusion, dye press and other simple molding processes will used to produce the products.

Who does your solution serve? In what ways will the solution impact their lives?

Placolite, on a macro scale, aims to improve the lives of humans. It aims to serve for the longer survival of humankind and all of the biodiversity. With India being the 5th developing economy with its rapidly increasing population and their ever increasing consumption, this sustainable and versatile material can not only be used at an architectural or interior level but at a much minuscule level such as product and Industrial design. It holds the potential to improve the climate change situation in the country by reducing the carbon footprint on the whole by aligning with the Paris agreement.

Being part of an interconnected world and during the age of the anthropocene where humans are the major drivers of change, our actions and inventions have been affecting various sectors of biodiversity since the ancestral era.  Placolite is thus one such human innovation which seeks to improve the lives of animals and birds which have been consuming plastics on a daily basis directly and indirectly. While the problem of polluting land exists, millions of liters of water bodies are polluted due to plastic waste affecting marine life. The increase in plastic pollution is polluting clean water available in the country resulting in 1.3 billion people in the country lacking access to clean water. Placolite aims to affect the quality of water and use the untreated waste as raw material. 

Placolite is a sustainable alternative for processed woods, like plywood, particle boards etc. India has received 108,830 deforestation alerts reported in India between 9th of January 2023 and 16th of January 2023, covering a total of 1.21kha. While deforestation remains a growing problem in the country it is affecting the environmental balance in nature and increasing floods in villages and various towns and cities. The material integrates itself in the system to use waste as a resource and save 7 billion trees every year. 


Save 7 billion trees/ year

40% more clean water

Reduce carbon footprint of construction industry by 33%

Reduce Plastic pollution by 45%

How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

The project started off as one person’s vision towards a sustainable construction material. Through the development of the project a measurable network of people and organizations was created who have their expertise in various fields like chemical engineering, biomimicry, material sciences, laboratory testing analysis, meteorology, plastic manufacturers, designers and artists. The team now comprises a mechanical design engineer, system design thinker, an architect and an Interior and Social change designer. 

Moncy, the mechanical engineer from the state of Kerala (India's best air quality state) understands the technicalities behind machinery and the growing upcoming technology. Along with him, the system design thinker, Kiran helps understand the design process and ambiguity and potential of material combinations. He runs his own design studio on the side and his 16 years of experience in the industry is what adds value to the project. In addition to them, the team also includes Anchita, who is situated in mumbai and is a freelance social change designer. She has been actively involved in the project since its birth. To help the project and understand its scope better, Rishi Tej and Kanisha, situated in Cincinnati and Canada respectively, are the architects and design thinkers on the team who have been our valuable consultants through the development of the project. Last but not the least A.Shree Tej has been working towards sustainability for the past 4 years being involved in various programs through his years of practice. He has worked in multiple sectors of developing biomimetic solutions for organizations. He has also been part of the Unleash Innovation program and has been involved in various conferences, programmes and workshops related to sustainability and climate change. 

As a team of graduates from prestigious schools in India, we feel confident in executing the project and intend to impact the current situation in the country. The team has also laid down a calculated road map for the project and has milestones for the following years.

What steps have you taken to understand the needs of the population you want to serve?

During the course of development of the material various workshops have been conducted at the waste segregation centers to understand the composition of the waste and its method of treatment. Multiple visits and engagements with plastic manufacturers have opened up possibilities of potential outcomes. 

In addition to that various plastic shredding technologies have been identified for the manufacturing. While on ground research was being done, chemical researchers and material scientists have been consulted to understand the properties of the material. Its pros and cons have been listed down for the second round of improvisation. 

Our team members with significant experience in the field of architecture and Interior Design, Kanisha and Rishi Tej, have validated the material for its functional requirement and various possibilities of aesthetical outcomes. The material has been taken to various other interior designers and furniture designers who have shown interest in developing designs using the material. A group of civil engineers have been consulted for its use as building material. It has opened possibilities for creating temporary shelters and a project named “Tetris” has been conceptualized using the material. Tetris is a housing system for construction workers in India who live in a not so dignified scenario in the current situation.

Which aspects of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Taking action to combat climate change and its impacts (Sustainability)

What is your solution’s stage of development?

Concept: An idea being explored for its feasibility to build a product, service, or business model based on that idea.

In what city, town, or region is your solution team located?

Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

A.Shree Tej

More About Your Solution

What makes your solution innovative?

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”

The material science of the product also comes with a systemic intervention which involves existing stakeholders to be part of the process. It makes use of systems and laws that are in place in the country. The complexity lies in the simplicity of the system. It involves a range of stakeholders who will have personal motives and benefits to be part of the system.

Placolite’s entry into the market as a material will open up product and delivery scope. Placolite factories will work based on a distributed network of production. Plastic waste and construction waste is available in each and every state in india. The system breaks the centralized model of manufacturing and distribution also resulting in reduction of pollution in transportation. Each state in the country has been fighting both of these problems since the past few decades.

The system focuses on local employment and job opportunities in and around the manufacturing centers. Having the potential to be a material as basic as wood, it will open up a number of business opportunities contributing to the country’s GDP.

A human intervention today for a better tomorrow.

What are your impact goals for the next year, and how will you achieve them?

Change can start small. Change can start by building a community. Change can start by walking together. Placolite is a business but also a company whose core ethos speak about sustainability, a plastic free world. Their intend includes reducing carbon emissions by 35% by 2030. Our goals for the next year is to collaborate with government and private schools and conduct workshops, design thinking workshops related to sustainability and cleaning drives in the town. India is a country in which most of the states have a school or the other in every 5 km radius (in a city), and about 15km radius if the state is developing. Collaborating with schools in the city will be our agenda to start with as children are the future driver’s of change. 

We would partner with the sewage treatment plants where a lot of plastic reaches floating from across the town. This collaboration will also help us get deeper into the understanding of  marine ecosystems,  and how it is affected. It will help us understand the path the plastic takes to reach that point. Periodic cleaning drives at the treatment plants would be our monthly activity. 

We have already partnered with a few local waste treatment centers. As an agenda we would collaborate with the government and private organizations which are collecting and segregating waste in the state. We would also partner with more organizations in the field of construction and demolition waste treatment. Conversations with the governing bodies still remain unattended from our side. Setting up our first manufacturing body will help us show proof of concept and validate the organizations. 

To conclude, our aim for the next one year would be to set up 2 manufacturing factories in 2 Indian states to start with. These factories would be fully functional with a concrete supply chain.

Describe the core technology that powers your solution.

The plastics (HDPE, PPE, PP, PVC, LDPE) are shredded separately using a shredder which works on a motororised mechanism powered by electricity or fuel. 

The plastics and the aggregate are mixed and heated in a temperature controlled furnace and then mixed thoroughly for an even mixture. This mixture is brought into an extruder or a dye press which uses weight, pneumatic or hydraulic pressure to create the desired form

The mixture can also be put into a temperature controlled compressor which fuses the plastic and the aggregate together to make Placolite bricks (construction bricks). The dye of the compressor has been designed to be in the form of modular interlocking design.

These are existing technologies which are brought together under a common roof for the production of the material. We would later dewle into development of Ai recognised plastic segregation system whose development is still in progress.

Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Manufacturing Technology
  • Materials Science

In which countries do you currently operate?

  • India

How many people does your solution currently serve, and how many do you plan to serve in the next year? If you haven’t yet launched your solution, tell us how many people you plan to serve in the next year.

The project is not been launched yet. We aim to serve 80,00,000 people by the end of next year. If we get financial help we can start the product in 2 states at once rather than 1 which would serve 1,90,00,000 people on the whole.

What barriers currently exist for you to accomplish your goals in the next year?

Our current barrier for the execution of project is financial barrier. Inabilitty to invest in infrastructure is holding us behind from executing the project. Though the legalities of the process would take time, they will eventually come through. 

We need a financial push to execute one manufacturing center which will help us show proof of concept and partner with more organizations, expand in other states of India.

Your Team

How many people work on your solution team?

Its not a registered company. A team of 7 people are on board.

How long have you been working on your solution?

1.5 years

What organizations do you currently partner with, if any? How are you working with them?

We do not partner with any organization currently. We have connections with a design studio in Banglore named Enfost Pvt. Ltd. 

Business Model

What is your business model?

We source our raw material from waste collection centers and demolition waste treatment centers. we convert the waste into products (currently industrial products). Our material reaches to the industrial areas of the state, country. Hardware shops, furniture shops, interior designers, are are potential clints who will use the material. 

The material when converted into compressed bricks will step into the construction industry as a construction material. Builders, contractors, architects, urban planners are our potential clints with this product. 

On the the other side we are also providing service to the government by collecting the construction debris and cleaning up of the landfills. 

What is your path to financial sustainability?

The current plan for finances is apply for grants, Startup funds and collaborations. External funding is being planned out as well. Initial seed funding is need to kickstart the project.

The factories work with partners both government and private who manage plastic waste and construction waste. the material is created as per the market requirement in the form of tiles, corrugated sheets, cladding tiles etc. The products are introduced into the market using the existing supply chain system in the country. 

- Market linkage

- Organizational support

- Market intermediary

Solution Team

to Top