Following the invitation from CCDR-LVT (Commission for Coordination and Regional Development of Lisbon and Tagus Valley), amongst great circular economy initiatives from HUMANA PORTUGAL and BETA-I, PLASBLOCK was highlighted and invited to share our story about changing the pallet market one ton of mixed plastic waste at a time.

The Commission for Coordination and Regional Development of Lisbon and Tagus Valley (CCDR LVT) is part of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers with oversight and joint supervision of the Minister for the Environment, Spatial Planning and Energy and the Deputy Minister for Regional Development. Its mission is to implement environmental, territorial and city planning and regional development policies at the level of the respective geographical areas of action, promote the coordinated action of decentralized services at a regional level and technically support local authorities and their associations. For more information on CCDR LVT, see

Humana is a non-profit association that seeks to maximize the use of used textiles by collecting textile donations from citizens through a network of containers, and preparing this textile for reuse. The goal is to give clothes a second life and favor the circular economy model. Through reuse this association transform a possible waste into a resource. It is through secondhand stores that Humana promotes the reuse of used clothes. To know more about Humana check their website:

Beta-i is a collaborative innovation consultancy with global reach and offices in Portugal and Brasil. They are experts on potentiate corporate open innovation, pilot-oriented projects with highly-curated startups, and on designing products and services alongside in-company teams. They use their 10-years acceleration expertise and network to help ecosystems grow, connecting a huge network of entrepreneurs, mentors, experts, investors and knowledge institutions to solve things that matter. Learn more at:

Following the presentations above read PLASBLOCK’s full interview below or download full interview in Portuguese here: Infodata – Economia Circular RLVT.

Plasblock’s Intervew:

What is the main focus of your activity?
Miguel Ferreira: Our main focus is on being able to provide our customers with 100% green solutions with high reliability and performance capable of competing with current market solutions, but which additionally allow our customers to obtain a reduction in their environmental impact as well as their customers. We focus on the production of sustainable blocks for wooden pallets, made from polymeric biomass and recycled plastic from the shredding of computers and cars. These are materials that would otherwise go to landfills, and with our process, are gaining a second life of usefulness. Our great concern is also in the ability to 100% recycle our products, at the end of their useful life, being able to return to our facilities, and being used in their entirety.

What goals do you intend to achieve at the end of the year and what are the challenges ahead?
Miguel Ferreira: By the end of this year (2019), our main objective is to be able to receive at our facilities more than 10,000 tons of residual by-products, which would otherwise have been placed in landfills, without any type of use. From mixed plastics that the plastics recycling industry cannot absorb – a key resource for our blocks, to wood chips, biopolymers, and cork waste, our focus is on being able to combine a wide variety of resources that are undervalued, giving them a new shape and a new future. The main challenge we face every day is still the way the market looks at waste-based products, which despite having clear evidence that they have superior performance, have a strong negative connotation due to the origin of their raw materials.

What kind of partners are you looking for to increase your results?
Miguel Ferreira: Our progress has been made largely on the basis of relationships with partners, sharing of knowledge and experiences, and for our next steps, we intend to find partners with whom we can help in the recovery of your waste. One of the examples are coffee capsules brands, with whom we intend to strengthen relationships so that we can value these materials in the capsules used to produce blocks that can be used in the logistics and distribution of pallets of new coffee capsules. This is our model, in which we always open our doors to new challenges and partnerships of this kind.

To what extent can it be considered a success story in the circular economy?
Miguel Ferreira: Since we repositioned ourselves as a Spring Defender group, we have tried to reformulate our entire business and value structure, implementing systems of resource circularity from scratch, both internally and globally. Today, there are still many sectors that are closed, that only look at themselves and at the competitive links between companies in the same sector, and we open our doors to all markets and companies that wanted to ally with us in the efficient search for circular systems of resource use, knowledge sharing, product development and innovation in the use of waste. We seek to offer the market products designed from scratch in accordance with the principles of a circular economy, both in raw materials and in raw materials, and the final destination of our products when they reach the end of their useful life.

Innovative Aspects for Regional Development?
Miguel Ferreira: One of our main results that impact regional development is the ability to contribute so that raw materials and resources remain in the regions where they are consumed, with a special focus on plastics. In the case of our PLASBLOCK pallet jacks, we were able to reduce imports and consumption of virgin plastics, substantially reduce the placement of these end-of-life materials in landfills, giving them a new lease of life, and the opportunity to gain another physical shape. and be able to have a high utility again. With our products it is also possible to channel the consumption of wood, an increasingly precious asset, to applications where its function is crucial, in the case of wooden pallet boards, leaving PLASBLOCK with the responsibility of complementing the pallet with blocks. made from recycled materials, promoting better use and sustainable use of wood.