The Perpetual Plastic Project out of the Netherlands has done some pretty incredible things over the past few years. Their live installations/mini-factories show the full cycle of recycling and reusing plastic waste to create 3d printer filament that can than be used to print something completely new. Their latest project has them collaborating with Plastic Whale, the world’s first company fishing for plastic waste in the canals of Amsterdam, to turn this discarded rubbish into something new and awesome.
“We aim to create value out of something that was worth nothing before,” said Jonas Martens, one of the minds behind the Perpetual Plastic Project.
Plastic Whale will be gathering plastic discarded in the canals of Amsterdam and providing it to the Perpetual Plastic Project who will than be cleaning and breaking down the trash before recycling it back into 3d printer filament. The goal is eventually a beautiful and functional end product.
The Perpetual Plastic Project hopes this project is just the start of working with waste plastic to produce functional components.
“Our next goal is to use waste from beaches to make surf fins,” Martens said.
The Perpetual Plastic Project was successfully launched by the Better Future Factory at the Lowlands festival in 2012. Their mini-factory was installed and visitors could recycle their used drinking cups into new products by operating the machines themselves. In order to create a new product people go through the steps of washing, drying, shredding, extruding and 3D printing. With a 3d printer, customized and personalized rings are made for them to wear. Since than they’ve put on demonstrations across Europe allowing people the chance to tangibly recycle their waste and walk away with a new product.
One of the great hopes for 3d printing is changing the economies of scale to lessen the global impact of production. With environmentally sustainable solutions such as this collaboration, it’s a step in the right direction. It’s not unrealistic to imagine a world where the modern consumer can take their plastic waste, recycle it in their own mini-factory and than create something new on a 3d printer.