Plastic Concrete: Hippie's Wet Dream, Hit Man's Worst NightmareS

Imagine concrete that's two-thirds granulated plastic, but is as strong as the stuff currently in use. Architect/engineer Henry Miller figured out how to make it, not just on paper, but in a couple of real-life structures.

Concrete is usually 60% to 75% "aggregate," sand, gravel or crushed stone, according to people who should know. What this engineer did was grind up the "landfill-bound" plastic materials, and then mix them with pure concrete. Not only did he save the plastic from environmentally unfriendly alternatives (landfill or heat-related processing), he also avoided the use of mined gravel or sand. Once the bricks were made—allegedly to withstand 3000 to 5000 psi—he built the structures above.

I don't know what the Portland Cement Association will make of it, but if there's any chance these bricks float, I think members of the Concrete Boot Association, aka Cosa Nostra, could be mightily displeased. [Inhabitat]