Precious Plastic advances recycling by acting locally, thinking globally

Precious Plastic (Eindhoven, Netherlands) has launched phase three of its master plan to help people fight plastic waste worldwide by providing open source machines, tools, knowledge and infrastructure to transform plastic waste into valuable products. And the best thing about this program is that it’s free, for everyone!

Precious Plastic’s new version empowers people to create small local economies around products created from plastic waste. Precious Plastic teaches people everything they need to know to become plastic recycling masters.

The recycling workspace—a 40-foot container—is filled with all the basic machinery and tools needed to begin a recycling operation. All that is needed next is a 380-volt plug and a bit of land on which to set the container. Blueprints and video tutorials on how to replicate the container are available for free. A modular design allows users to adapt the machines to their specific needs.

The program includes an online marketplace to buy and sell Precious Plastic products. The bazaar allows people in one region to purchase products directly from people making the products in a neighboring region using recycled plastics they collected from another neighboring region.

People in the program have access to a map tailored to make local collaboration easier and more effective across the Precious Plastic network. The map allows people with, for example, a space to meet people in their city with skills or capital necessary to begin a plastic recycling workspace.

Precious Plastic claims that hundreds of people around the world are using the program to recycle plastic waste into new products. The organization hopes that version 3.0 will increase worldwide adoption of the program and result in the rapid scaling of the number of people using the technology to recycle plastic waste.

Precious Plastic was founded in October 2013, when three people replicated the plastic recycling machines. Version 2.0 launched in March 2016. Today, more than 200 early adopters are recycling plastic waste using the Precious Plastic “bottom up” solution.

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