DIY plastic recycling workshops

Precious Plastic
Netherlands (Eindhoven)

A lot of things we have are made from plastic. The synthetic material is used everywhere, but it also ends up everywhere – mostly in landfills. Of all the plastic thrown away, we recycle just ten percent. Now Dutch designer Dave Hakkens is on a mission to boost that number, by letting people in every corner of the world know they can start their own local little plastic recycling workshop. The reason why? On his website, he explains it by simply linking to these shocking images, which do all the explaining.

Precious Plastic is my biggest project. Ever. By far,” he says. “It started with an idea to provide people the tools to start working with plastic waste locally. Sounds simple right?”

Actually, it’s pretty crafty. Using basic tools and materials, the Design Academy Eindhoven graduate has developed a series of DIY machines that enable everyone to work with plastic waste. Video tutorials on the Precious Plastic site encourage people to recycle different plastic types, build their own machines and download templates in order to start their own mini-recycle factory. “It’s not just for the big boys.” Machines include a plastic shredder, extruder, injection moulder and rotation moulder, which are all based on industrial machines but modified to be less complex and more flexible.

The site also includes the things you can create. It might be clipboards and tools for now, but “this is just a tiny fraction of what’s possible.” After only a week, the project has been shared in 181 countries and 4847 cities (and counting). Watch the video below and get started creating new valuable things out of plastic, start a new business and clean up your neighbourhood.

Editor’s Update 24 October 2017:

Precious Plastic have just launched ‘Version 3.0’ which includes three things (hence the name). There’s a recycling container, so all you need to start recycling is a 380v plug and a bit of land. Blueprints and video tutorials are available online for free. Then there is their Bazar, an online marketplace to buy and sell products, parts and machines to create plastic recycling local economies around the world. Lastly, a tailored map (and we love a map) makes local collaboration easier and more effective across the Precious Plastic network of people.

Want to help? Spread the knowledge to make sure Precious Plastic reaches “your friend, uncle and that farmer living in Africa.”

Submitted by

Lisa Goldapple, Editor, Atlas of the Future (31 March 2016)

Project leader

Dave Hakkens

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