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344: “Precious Plastic” recycling machine

Problem:

The recovery and recycling of plastic does not always need to be carried out in commercial factories.

Solution:

Dave Hakkens takes a different approach to Planet-Protecting by placing his solutions on-line open-source.

From 2009, studying at the Design Academy of Eindhoven, Hakkens, aged 20, published his first video “Rubble Floor” showing viewers how to re-use rubble to from a building site to make new paths.

“Wind Oil” followed, showing how to make a wind-powered oil press, Playful Paper and Breaksoap. In 2013 Hakkens, having graduated cum laude, launched Phonebloks, a modular smartphone designed to limit the amount of electronic waste being produced.

In its successful wake, Google and Motorola announced the launch of a similar project, known as Ara, which eventually came to nothing.

After exceeding his goal of 900,000 supporters on Thunder clap by October 2013, Hakkens launched Precious Plastic, a small-scale factory that allows people to recycle plastic for themselves: a shredder turns plastic waste into small flakes, which are melted and then reconditioned using presses and molds.

“Precious Plastic” has been picked up by hundreds of people around the world that built the machines and started recycling plastic waste.

Hakkens and Precious Plastic have entered the third stage of the project – the community, estimated to be around 40,000 people. Among those 40,000, some volunteered to go from Iceland or Mexico to the Netherlands to help Dave Hakkens develop his concept.

An interactive world map has been developed to identify members of the community and the workspaces that have been established all over the world.

The Precious Plastic website also has a “Forum” section where “builders” can chat, and a marketplace, the “Bazaar” where people can buy and sell the products they have made, buy parts to make machines.

From Chile to Japan and from Kenya to the Ukraine more than 200 people work in some 80 Precious Plastic workspaces. The offices are made from basic materials, affordable, easy to find and to build. Some people have made jewelry, plates, smartphone covers, even beams for use in building, one Spaniard has made a chlorine water filter.

In October 2019 Hakkens launched Precious Plastic Version 4 to build an army to fight plastic waste.

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