The SAS minimum project
In September 2016, we were four students from the National School of Architecture in Versailles. For 6 months, we were in charge of designing a campus in the heart of the Kenyan desert. Our challenge? To use local and renewable resources. While exploring the surroundings, we discovered an open-air dump. This made us realize the reality of waste (mis)management around the world. In 2015, more than 6 billion tons of plastic waste were accumulated around the world in landfills, in the open or in the ocean.
The main problem is that by recycling a plastic bottle into a new one, we are only postponing the problem. In a new bottle, we always have to add virgin plastic to maintain the quality. Then the failure of our collection, sorting and recycling system means that with each cycle some plastic is lost. This is not a sustainable solution.
Eco-construction from plastic waste
At the same time, we realized that the building materials usually used had disastrous consequences on the planet. Today, concrete is still the most used material. This one poses the problem of the overexploitation of sand and a consequent consumption of CO2 for each ton. We had to find a sustainable alternative, invent a new virtuous eco-construction material.
We quickly looked at the use of waste, and in particular plastic waste. We immediately took action. We recovered plastic waste by searching the garbage cans of Versailles. Then we sorted it, crushed it and heated it in a home-made oven.
And that’s how the first Le Pavé® sample was born. Fresh out of the oven, it was beautiful and strong. We had created a new material with endless creative possibilities and really interesting mechanical properties.
From a student project to an association
We immediately decided to set up an association project to extend the experimentation around plastic. Our objective was simple: to contribute to solving plastic pollution and to reinvent the building sector.
With the natural characteristics of our new material, it is coherent to use it as flooring. Le Pavé® was born as an idea to propose a floor covering.
Every year in France, about 250 million square meters of flooring are manufactured. This represents a potential of 250,000 kg of plastics recovered in this innovative material.
From an association to a company
Very quickly, we realized the extent of the work to be done, both to solve plastic pollution and to create an eco-material used on a large scale. To carry out our mission, a legal structure of company was more relevant than an associative structure. We needed to industrialize our plastic waste transformation technique to make our eco-construction material accessible. This is how the company sasminimum was born, with Le Pavé® as the first project…
The path of a plastic waste was and still is very obscure in France. At the beginning, we created a partnership with a Senegalese company through Waste & Hope. This French social enterprise has developed a label for fair trade plastic.
Today, we have decided to make 100% Made in France: from the origin of the raw materials to the recovery of the products at the end of their life, through the manufacturing and use. It is by being as close as possible to our suppliers, our producers and our end-users, that we can implement a truly circular economy.
Today, we are a team of people committed to a desirable future. We develop Le Pavé® with passion from our workshop near Paris, in Pantin. We build an exceptional eco-material with multiple applications, always from plastic waste.
Le Pavé® comes in standard format in the form of slabs. They measure 140 by 90 cm and have different thicknesses, from 8 to 19 mm. The advantage is that these recycled sheets can be worked like wood. They can be cut, sanded, drilled… and can even be thermoformed. We can also make custom-made trays that can be adapted to larger dimensions. These are then placed on a wooden support, like our worktops.
Concretely, with 1 ton of plastic waste, Le Pavé® avoids 1500 kg of CO2 for 100 square meters of eco-construction, compared to the use of virgin HDPE.
Since then, Le Pavé® has continued to demonstrate the benefits of using its material. Both versatile and endowed with infinite creative capital, it is appealing to the industry as a whole. Pavé® brings together inspiring and innovative designs for a wide variety of applications: bar linings, furniture, soap dishes, floor coverings, desk tops, kitchen worktops, wall coverings, consoles…
Through our creations, we demonstrate that a match between plastic and furniture market is possible. Indeed, we have already recycled more than 150 tons of plastic thanks to our partners such as adidas, Galeries Lafayette, Veja, Bouygues Immobilier and Peugeot.
Creating new eco-materials and making their use more democratic
We are proud of what we have done so far, but we don’t want to stop there. Le Pavé is only the beginning of a beautiful and long adventure with sasminimum. Our reason for being? From waste to resource, to propose a sustainable and sensible material. Every day, we test different materials that are destined to be thrown away to imagine the eco-materials of tomorrow.
Our ambition is to be able to valorize all the waste that has no outlet today: those that no one wants, those that are not recycled and that have a great chance of ending up in nature.
SAS Minimum is much more than just eco-materials. We are committed to bringing people together. As part of our move towards a circular economy, Le Pavé® is committed to making the afterlife of plastic a priority from the design stage. Determined to change our perception of waste, we collaborate with local actors willing to adopt and promote more responsible practices.
We partner with designers, architects, cooperatives, associations and schools to create the next generation of sustainable products.