Dec.14, 2013

Plastic pollution is an ever-growing problem. The production as well as disposal of plastic, pose a great threat to all the life forms on earth. ver 300 million tons of new plastic is manufactured every year. About 7 million tons of that ends up in our oceans annually. This material takes years to discompose, which is one of the factors that kill many animals in water as well as on land. When it comes to plastic pollution, our society has asked everyone -- scientists, environmentalists, and the government -- to clean up the mess we've made.

An emerging organization, the Plastic Bank, is turning the problem of plastic waste and reshaping it into a solution. The Plastic Bank is a plastics return, repurposing, and 3D printing center that empowers the poor to harvest plastics as a currency for various opportunities including education, training, necessities and 3D printing services.

The Plastic Bank is setting up plastic repurposing centers around the world, where there's an abundance of both waste plastic and poverty.

We are empowering people to harvest plastics as a currency they can exchange for tools, household items, parts & 3D printing.

Our mission is to remove plastic waste from the land, oceans and waterways while helping people ascend from poverty and transition into entrepreneurship. -- Plastic Bank

What some might call waste, the Plastic Bank calls a resource. The Plastic Bank says, "when we reveal value in plastic, it becomes too valuable to throw away and too valuable to leave sitting on a beach or in the ocean." The concept is to establish "Plastic Banks" in impoverished areas with an existing abundance of plastic waste, allowing people to harvest the waste for credits used for micro-finance loans, repurposed necessities and 3D printing of everyday products like tools, parts and household items.

The Plastic Bank puts a value on waste plastic and will reward people who harvest it from our oceans and waterways. We believes we are on the cusp of a new manufacturing revolution. The rise of 3D printing will create the capacity to disperse digital manufacturing anywhere. Instead of using new plastic to supply 3D printing, we will foster the repurposing of existing waste plastic as its raw material, while supporting the 3D printing industry to develop other sustainable options as well. -- Plastic Bank

To ensure that the company can recycle or repurpose any piece of plastic that they receive, the Plastic Bank have recruited the world leading experts in plastic recycling, including Dr. Mike Biddle: a plastics engineer. Biddle has developed a patented 30-step plastics recycling system that includes magnetically extracting metals, shredding the plastics, sorting them by polymer type and producing graded pellets to be reused in industry.

The Plastic Bank ran a fundraising to turn their vision of social plastic into a reality this year and raised over $20,000 from supporters. They are going to set up the first plastic recycling facility in Lima, Peru next year, where only 2% of plastic waste gets recycled. The Plastic Bank calls harvesting and repurposing plastics like this "Social Plastic". Through 3D printing technology, it plans to lead the movement towards worldwide demand for the use of Social Plastic in everyday products.

Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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Hugo Amos Viljoen wrote at 8/19/2015 1:12:06 PM:

i would like to implement this in south africa, who do i get in contact with?

Sam wrote at 5/12/2014 11:15:59 AM:

I second Harry, the fact that there is anything being done to help levitate a gigantic life changing problem shouldn't be sneered at. Snipe at the fact that the plastic is there in the first place, not that someone is coming up with a way of removing it. Also, as long as there is money, there will always be poor people and the rich using them At least this one can help the world rather than crap all over it.....

Harry wrote at 2/26/2014 12:52:45 AM:

Hey Scott if you have a better idea other than being part of the peanut gallery be my guest Also they are helping them become entrepreneurs to help get them off their feet! This way they don't need to rely on aid as much in the future It's incredible how people judge so much while siting behind their computer screen

Scott wrote at 12/17/2013 11:17:30 PM:

It sounds like people in poverty collect the plastic and then receive "credits" instead of money to get access to micro loans... seems like a shady deal to me. Why don't they just pay the workers with the profits after they selling the plastic?? Oh wait they want to keep the profits for themselves. Gotta love greedy capitalists taking advantage of poor people and saying its for a good cause.

LV33 wrote at 12/15/2013 10:35:04 PM:

i wonder where the return of invest comes from...

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