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Teen Starts Company That Turns Plastic Waste Into A Revolutionary Product
Innovative teen, Myles Peterson, starts Terracore Plastics Company to help solve the world's plastic waste problem.
As we venture forth creating a new vision for how human society can operate, we inevitably will need to acknowledge transitional ideas, ones that seek to solve many of the challenges that have been created by today's society. The good news is, there is a ton of brilliance out there, and 18 year old Myles Peterson of Castlegar, British Columbia is part of it.
At The Pulse, we love new ideas, one of our favorite stories has been following the journey of a Zimbabwe man who invented a revolutionary electric system that charges itself - a truly incredible story. But Myles has a trick up his sleeve as well. It's a viable idea to solve part of our planet's plastic waste problem by taking the waste and turning it into a robust building material. He started a company called Terracore Plastic Company. They create alternatives to plywood made from plastic waste.
As the Terracore website states:
"Not only is the Terra-Panel's Patent Pending composite material engineered to act as a great plywood replacement thanks to its strength, longevity, and price, it’s also made using 100% recycled product."
To form his company at such a young age, Myles pooled savings from three jobs, and with the support of his father and grandmother, he was able to bring his company to life. After seeing the level of smog in India while he was at his boss' wedding, he correlated the smog to the burning of trash plastic and wondered if there was a way to stop it from happening. Not only did this destructive practice hurt nature and air quality, but inhaling microplastics can cause severe neurological problems.
“The best way to use this plastic is to keep it out of the environment by keeping it in use, and I thought that the best way to do that is to put it into building materials.
- Myles Peterson
In January 2018, China banned the import of 24 grades of solid waste, including post-consumer plastics, which pushed other countries to have to figure out what to do with their own plastic waste. This is where Myles felt he might be able to step in. The young entrepreneur stated in an interview,
“Unlike companies that purchase recycled plastic instead of waste plastic, we are able to take advantage of the ban to ensure not only a lower price for our customers but to make sure that no plastic goes to waste.”
Given the way our current global economy functions, a great deal of goods and services rely on partners very far away, adding huge amounts of time and energy to handle various legs of a product or service life cycle. Myles' idea seeks to bring these processes 'close to home,' and calls upon a greater sense of self-responsibility for local communities.
"We purchase bales of unsorted waste plastic from a municipal facility [Centra-Cam, Camrose] which is very economical, and process it to end up with cleaned, separated, ready-to-use plastic."
“Companies around the globe that are ready and willing to innovate are not only able to benefit from the ban financially, but can do good to the environment by increasing the percentage of plastic that is actually turned into new products”
- Myles Peterson
The first product he created is called the Terra-Panel. It is a waterproof, weatherproof, UV-resistant, and plastic-composite panel that can outperform plywood. His product costs about 30 percent less than plywood, can be cut, screwed, and nailed just like regular plywood, making it perfect for contractors to use it without a steep learning curve. The Terra-Panel can also withstand freezing temperatures and be left outdoors without succumbing to water damage.
The panel, in total, is made from shredded raw plastic waste, wood chips and additives.
“It took me months of working very long days to come up with a composition of various components, primarily plastic with some wood, alongside other materials, that was strong enough to compete with plywood.”
“It’s the only thing on the market that combines cost-effectiveness, weather resistance, and strength,”
- Myles Peterson
Terra-Panels are currently for sale via the company’s storefront and is open to inquiries from investors. Terracore is looking to have construction companies adopt the product for use in some of their housing projects.
As mentioned, alongside solving the issues of today, we must also look ahead and stop the problems from happening at their core. In order to do that however, we must be willing to look at our problems holistically. We must be able to understand how our current way of viewing life and how society functions needs to change in order to envision the solutions necessary to solve our problems long term.
We shouldn't need to fit all solutions into the limitations of a destructive economic system, and this is where we are called upon to re-imagine how we can live as society.
This is the transitional time humanity is in.