The production of construction materials has a significant negative environmental impact: cement alone accounts for between five and 10 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions (UNEP). In addition, plastic waste is an increasing global problem, oceans expected to contain more plastic than fish by 2050. With the world’s rising population, plastic waste and demand for construction materials are also set to grow.

To help target both these issues, Expo 2020 Dubai’s Expo Live programme has selected Zelij Invent as one of its Global Innovators. This Morocco-based green tech company has invented sustainable paving blocks and floor tiles made from 80 per cent plastic waste and 20 per cent eco-friendly materials. They are five times more durable and more affordable than cement.

Zelij Invent launched a programme with a goal of recycling more than one million tonnes of plastic, by turning this waste into construction materials. Using the platform of Expo Live, it hopes to collaborate with various organisations working to reduce plastic waste, and to address consumers directly to spread the message of the importance of collecting and recycling plastic waste.

The Expo 2020 Dubai Innovation Series is a weekly blog series highlighting some of the creative and world-changing innovations that are being showcased via Expo 2020 Dubai’s programmes and pavilions.

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