Nov.7, 2013

3D printing empowers the DIY community to design and build their own artwork and products on 3D printers, and helping the technology edge slowly towards the mainstream. But as more and more spools of ABS, PLA or PVC being used in this movement, there will be more plastic waste for our environment.

U.K. charity techfortrade today announces the launch of The Ethical Filament Foundation which will work in partnership with organisations around the world to encourage the manufacture of ethically produced 3D printing filament, made from recycled plastic waste, as an alternative to the standard virgin plastic variety.

The initiative aims not only to reduce the environmental impact by helping to cut levels of plastic waste, but to providing income stability for waste pickers in developing countries.

The Ethical Filament Foundation is working on the development of a standard and a global mark that will be licensed for use by partner organisations producing filament in accordance with its guidelines. A draft of these guidelines has been released for comment and review and is available via the Foundation's website.

The Foundation notes:

This standard will ensure that social, economic and environmental requirements are met in the production of 3D printer filament. It is also hoped that this will contribute towards a general improvement in wider trading relationships with waste pickers by influencing plastic industry standards. The Ethical Filament Foundation mark will act as a quality guarantee for those companies and individual consumers wishing to purchase recycled filament.

"After realising a gap in the market for 3D printer filament made from recycled plastic, we immediately recognised the opportunity this presents to the developing world where plastic waste is in abundance," said William Hoyle, CEO of techfortrade, in a statement. "The 3D printing market is growing exponentially and by making the first move into ethical filament, we hope to raise awareness about the importance of this technology and the benefits it can provide to some of the poorest people in the world. Our first step is to garner support from the 3D printing community."

The Ethical Filament Foundation has been founded by techfortrade in partnership with Dreambox Emergence which provides 3D printing units for community based manufacturing in Guatemala, and Michigan Technological University. The initiative has already attracted a high level of interest, with Protoprint, which provides waste plastic recycling services in India, signed up as the first licensed organisation.

techfortrade and The Ethical Filament Foundation are exhibiting at this year's 3D Printshow in London, on the 7th November at the Business Design Centre London.

Posted in 3D Printing Materials



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1984 wrote at 11/8/2013 6:15:16 PM:

This is a great idea that I hope works.

jd90 wrote at 11/7/2013 11:58:47 PM:

I wish them well. The material can be re-used for many things.

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