Feature
Founder of ReBuild, Zara Harris
Photo: Contributed

Story Highlights

  • Founder of ReBuild, Zara Harris, has formulated a novel way of utilising discarded plastics in the construction of environmentally friendly albedo (heat resistant) pavements.
  • The project minimises the amount of plastics in the environment, while the low temperature sidewalks allow for cooler surroundings.
  • “These pavements will not reflect the sunlight in a blinding way, and facilitate a smoother run-off of storm water than traditional pavements. Moreover, we will use non-potable water in making the tiles,” Miss Harris tells JIS News.

Founder of ReBuild, Zara Harris, has formulated a novel way of utilising discarded plastics in the construction of environmentally friendly albedo (heat resistant) pavements.

The project minimises the amount of plastics in the environment, while the low temperature sidewalks allow for cooler surroundings.

“These pavements will not reflect the sunlight in a blinding way, and facilitate a smoother run-off of storm water than traditional pavements. Moreover, we will use non-potable water in making the tiles,” Miss Harris tells JIS News.

“I plan to branch off in the use of plastics in the patching and construction of roads later on. At first, I was thinking of doing this aspect, but because of the large scale, I decided to start with the pavements,” she adds.

Miss Harris also points to research that has shown that 22 per cent of Caribbean households dispose of their waste improperly and that 30 per cent of the litter consists of plastics, making it one of the main pollutants offshore and onshore.

“I am concerned about our degree of pollution, and I believe this is an excellent way of addressing this issue,” she states.

Through her business, Ms. Harris intends to provide jobs for Jamaicans and contribute to the economic growth of the country.

“I intend to employ many skilled workers in this venture. It will definitely grow the economy,” she tells JIS News.

Ms. Harris posits that the implementation of her business will contribute to the reduction of plastic waste in the country.

“I don’t think Jamaica will be free from plastic litter, but it will be reduced to a tolerable level. [The initiative will] increase awareness of the problem and encourage persons to live by sustainable means,” she states.

Meanwhile, Miss Harris was chosen by the Caribbean Climate Innovation Center to participate in the ClimateLaunchpad Global Grand Final 2019 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, from November 14 and 15.

Over 100 teams from more than 50 countries, competed to unearth the most feasible green business idea for 2019.

“I believe I was selected based on the relevance of the project and my drive and determination. I am heartened by the recognition, and my family and friends are delighted,” she states.