- Dave Hakkens, a 27-year-old Dutch inventor, has released new blueprints and tutorials for home recycling equipment through his project Precious Plastic.
- Available designs include an extrusion machine, shredder, injection molder, and compression oven. Each piece of equipment is scaled to convert household plastics into new materials ranging from 3D printer filament to flatware.
- Hakkens hopes that by giving people these tools for free he can encourage a global movement toward recycling plastic waste and reducing ocean pollution.
The average person may not have the space, tools, or skills to build some of this equipment, but Hakkens aims to make it as accessible as possible. By encouraging people to take these free designs and use them for business purposes he could very well inspire some recycling entrepreneurs. Technologies such as pyrolysis—which can convert plastics into an oil product—have big potential, but can't be easily replicated in an apartment.
Community recycling solutions are important as commodity prices for many types of plastic remain low and the plastic pollution problem grows. As the Ellen MacArthur Foundation reported earlier this year, ocean plastic could outweigh fish by 2050. Hakkens often cites ocean pollution as the main inspiration for his work and talks about the need for increased awareness.
The issue of plastic recycling has also been receiving more attention from many big name companies and designers. Musician Pharrell Williams' company G-Star Raw has been a leader in creating fashion from plastic waste and other companies, such as Adidas and Coca-Cola, have also been moving in this direction. Actress Emma Watson even wore a dress made from plastic waste to this year's Met Gala.