BLAC Brick has been developed by Tata at the MIT Center for Technology and Design. It is part of a larger project to develop low-cost, low-emission housing in inner-city slums of India.
The brick is currently being tested in Muzaffarnagar, a city northeast of New Delhi. It is cheaper than a conventional brick, but it has yet to prove its long-term durability. If all goes well, the team hopes to locate a production plant inside the paper mill, so the waste can immediately turn into bricks.
If Eco BLAC bricks are successful, it would be good for the air quality in India as well as its food safety. The use of large amounts of topsoil deprives farmers of farmland.
India's brick industry spanned 100,000 kilns and produced up to 2 billion bricks a year, making it a major source of pollution. To achieve the high temperatures, the ovens use huge amounts of coal and diesel, pollution in its pure state.