Category Archives: 3D Printers

Fuelling 3D Printers with Plastic Waste

3D printing is a pretty exciting idea, and its potential seems almost limitless. We are regularly seeing new, innovative ways in which 3D printers are making their way into the manufacturing cycle. However, up until now, the majority of items produced by 3D printing companies have been little more than table top trinkets.

 

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For most of these items, the main value comes in the fact that they are custom-designed. You can easily create completely unique items, which no one else on the planet owns. The Plastic Bank is a forward-thinking green organization, which has found a way to boost the value proposition further – by collecting plastic waste from the ocean and transforming it into a form of 3D printable plastic filament.

Ecopreneurist recently reported that they 3D printed a small plastic wrench, entirely made using recycled plastic, sourced from the ocean. It may not be the most impressive 3D printed object to have been produced, but when you think that it was once polluting our beautiful beaches and impacting the aquatic ecosystem, the idea starts to become a lot more exciting.

We are all well aware of what happens to the copious amount of plastic which gets churned out by factories every day. It makes it way to our water systems, eventually drifting into the oceans, where it sinks to the murky depths or joins one of the islands of garbage on the surface.

Apparently, this is not enough for us to change the way we treat our planet. Plastic Bank has been formed to provide an incentive for gathering plastic waste from our oceans by increasing its value. The organization is starting off by launching Plastic Banks in poverty-stricken communities, including Peru, where the first ‘bank’ has already been launched.

Plastic Bank has asserted that they are “part of the solution to eradicate poverty and eliminate plastic waste from our oceans”. This may seem like a pretty ambitious aim, and although it will certainly take a lot more than the Plastic Bank to achieve this, recycling waste plastic is only a good thing.