The Center for Regenerative Design and Collaboration, CRDC, is a Costa Rican based company that understands a proactive and integrated approach must to be taken in order to harmonize a growing populations need with the resulting pressures they put on the environment. It is important we rethink our past and continue to reinvent our future with the management and recovery process of plastic waste as a resource in a growing Circular Economy.
CRDC is the result of decades of focus and experience; a multidiscipline and collaborative effort of dedicated people and entities all having a common mandate to use mentorship and good business to promote positive change. Community enrichment is provided through affordable housing initiatives and free classical music instruction for children, environmental enrichment through a volunteer based mangrove reforestation and beach clean-up program.
Now, after years of investigation, research and prototyping we are ready to introduce an innovative zero waste packaging process and product designed and patented by the company’s founder, Donald Thomson, and a dedication team of experienced industrial, retail, housing and capital market professionals in New York and Puerto Rico.
CRDC’s mandates include setting the bar of “zero waste” to a new level that will illustrate benchmark examples of regenerative design and upcycling.
CRDC’s plastic container reconfigures itself from a beverage bottle into a high quality building product and will successfully integrate industry, environmental, and community while addressing the growing problem of plastics that pollute our land and marine environments.
According to Doug Woodring, founder of Plasticity, “The Global reach, along with positive solutions-based approach……has engaged those interested in managing and recovering plastic as a resource; scalable innovations in plastic that save money; use of new materials; designing for sustainability; and solutions for a world where plastic is used, but without its current footprint.”
Our Mission is to change the perception of the inefficiency of the recycling process while promoting responsible consumption through the introduction of new ways to address and decelerate the proliferation of plastic waste while promoting regenerative actions and responsibilities. CRDC will work with national and international academics, forward thinking business and corporate entitles, housing and shelter thought leaders and the global investment community to promote a productive cultural, environmental and industrial collaboration.
GUA – Costa Rica has started a consumer education effort in order to inform the product purchaser that there is an important second use for the product as a building product that the bottle regenerates into a tile. The product was designed to appeal to a growing sector of “consumers” and many return the bottle simply because it is the right thing to do. The resulting tile has a much greater value than the empty bottle, demonstrating its unique “Waste Discount Design” so a viable consumer refund can be structured if necessary. CRDC is projecting 40% return rate.
Manufacturing (reduction) PET Plastic is 100% recyclable, R-PET can also be completely reprocessed into new food grade raw material. Using recycled bottles to make new bottles can reduce the manufacturing footprint by up to 60%. GUA – Costa Rica will begin phasing in the use of R-PET with intent to sell 100% recycled bottles.
Transportation (reduction) The bottle was designed for maximum efficiency in transport and is essentially a solid block of water when packaged. This zero waste approach to space allows for radical reduction in the shipping footprint, up to 40% has been calculated in ocean freight shipping alone in comparison to standard round bottles. Costa Rica’s central geographic location is ideal for international shipping. As a result more units can be delivered per shipment lowering amount of hydrocarbon fuel consumed per unit needed.
The bottles, outer packaging, our shipping sleeves, are also made out of R-PET fabric which tightly compresses 14 bottles per package.
This shipping sleeve can be up cycled into a permanently reusable shopping bag.
Carbon Fixing (offsetting) The fill material used to provide the coloring and body to the tile is lightweight mixture of pulped paper rescued from the waste stream and cement. Once the mixture is encapsulated into the front of the plastic tile the carbon content in the paper is effectively “fixed” and will not decompose into greenhouse gases such as Co2 or Methane as it would have eventually done so in the municipal land fill. The resulting roofs built are designed to provide carbon for decades.
Energy Efficiency (Offsetting) The Cellulose and air entrained lightweight tile envelope is an excellent insulator and improved once panelized by creating a series of dead air spaces between tile to tile. Therefore the panel provides insulation against temperature extremes reducing heating and cooling requirement which can play a continual and long term role in reducing energy needs. If the energy used to heat or cool the building comes from fossil fuel combustion the greenhouse gas reduction due to the insulating effect of the product will be long term and significant. Further investigation and documentation will be needed but the goal of CRDC is to document that over the long term there is sufficient greenhouse gas offsetting as a result of the building product to eliminate the bottles manufacturing and delivery footprint making it a carbon neutral product.
The founders of the company were extremely careful in choosing a high quality and sustainable water source. Our GUA - Costa Rica is provided under contract by Water Monterreal S.A. The facility is located on the continental divide at one of the narrowest locations of the western hemisphere.
The water is naturally regenerated through the endless vapor cycle created by constantly clashing combination of the planet’s opposing Pacific and Caribbean weather formations. The high mountain tropical cloud forest location borders the National Park Juan Castro Blanco and is recognized as providing one of the healthiest and purest mineral waters in the world. In fact the water recently won “Best Tasting Mineral Water” at the International Termatalia Spa and Wellness Convention held in Rio Hondo Argentina held in September 2014. Also important to the decision to use this particular source is that it is from a relatively unpopulated region of Costa Rica and as such there are presently no neighboring communities reliant on the abundant and precious resource.
We believe that CRDC’S process of Waste Discount Design, WDD, represents a completely new business model in the waste management and recycling arena. The concept contemplates that the waste stream of one industry or product intentionally transforms into the supply stream of the next. This puts added value on the waste stream but conversely radically reduces the costs on the supply stream. WDD works exceptionally well when the initial product is transitory in nature such as packaging and converts to a permanent use product such as a quality building material. Using CRDC’s product as a working example other companies should be able to apply our Waste Discount Design process to provide the economic rationale to further pursue zero waste practices. Furthermore, the environmental benefit of WDD is that there is almost zero energy needed to convert the waste product into the finished supply stream.
With a strong background in building, product design and community development CRDC set out with the goal to create a high quality but affordable building product by having our building architecture dictate our bottle architecture. The aesthetics of the tiles needed to be timeless and traditional, yet the functionality and installation process, an advancement in the building industry. Fortunately, in this classic example of “form follows function” the novel but elegant shape of our bottle has been warmly accepted by the public and referred to as potentially iconic in the beverage industry. We believe that by focusing on WDD we have created a market innovation, where a single design creates two very high quality and marketable products in two diverse industries. Good for the environment, good for the community, and good for business.
Polyethylene terephthalate or PET plastic has excellent physical properties and its predominant use in the beverage industry is well known. It is the material durability in the waste stream that is conversely of environmental concern. CRDC uses this durability concern to our advantage when converting our bottle into an almost indestructible building product with an extended life span. The manufacturer of our PET material has indicated that the product will last for many decades under constant environmental exposure and while UV radiation may somewhat effect the clarity of the tile additives are available to offset that concern if necessary.
The intellectual property behind our “Bottle to Tile” concept is well protected internationally and has been granted a number of patents, both utility and design. New applications are pending and additional advancements in manufacturing and design are under way.