Filipino in Taiwan turns paper cups into 'eco plastic tiles'

Plastic film on surface of paper cups can be put to good use

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Paper cup-turned tiles (CNA photo)

Paper cup-turned tiles (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A Chinese Filipino who lives in Taiwan has come up with a smart solution to the non-recyclable plastic layer in paper boxes and cups – turning it into eco floor tiles.

Formerly a successful architect, Tsai Sheng-lun (蔡昇倫) left his high-paying job 11 years ago to work for the NGO Tzu Chi Foundation in eastern Taiwan's Hualien. He has thus shifted his focus from space planning to the invention of eco-friendly products over the past few years, reported the Central News Agency (CNA).

Acknowledging that the outer material coating many disposable paper cups and boxes plastic and hence not recyclable, Tsai has invested effort into making the most use of the waste, which can easily reach 200 tons a day. It was a task commissioned to him by Master Cheng Yen (證嚴法師), a Buddhist leader and founder of the Foundation, Tsai said.

After two years of research and experiments, the effort paid off. Tsai managed to convert the plastic garbage into floor tiles, with each piece measuring 8 by 20 cm. The tiles can be joined together seamlessly, are surprisingly solid and resistant to impact, and can support up to 40 tons.

The eco tiles, which are made with 1.7 kg of plastic trash per piece, were patented on Thursday (Aug. 8). The innovative technology can also be applied to the disposal of candy wraps and other forms of plastic waste, providing an alternative to ceramic tiles while advancing the cause of environmental protection, reported CNA.

Eco-plastic tiles inventor Tsai Sheng-lun (蔡昇倫)(right)(CNA photo)