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Perpetual Plastic Project – Recycling plastic for Creation
We actually had the chance to see this project in action at the Rome Maker Faire. Amazing stuff:
The Perpetual Plastic Project is all about the local recycling of plastics. Last summer the project was successfully launched at the Lowlands festival 2012. Our mini-factory was installed and visitors could recycle their used drinking cups into new products by operating the machines themselves.
The goal of the project is twofold. 1. Recycling plastics on a local level by exciting and involving people. 2 Creating awareness amongst consumers by teaching them new ways of recycling. For this reason, the mini-factory is as accessible and transparent as possible. You can drive the machinery by hand and learn by doing how the cups are transformed into building material and then again into a new product.
In order to create a new product people go through the steps of washing, drying, shredding, extruding and 3D printing with their used drinking cups. With a 3D printer, customised and personalised rings are made for them to wear. The rings become a visible souvenir that stimulates discussion and spreads the word about it’s origins and the new recycling concept.
Of course, a multitude of other functional, durable and desirable products can be made with a 3d-printer. It’s up to designers to explore the possibilities of these evolving technologies and how to purpose them to serve people’s needs.