Experimental Processes with Precious Plastics
Authors: George Chow
Abstract: According to the UN Environment Program (UNEP), 400 million tons of plastic is produced every year, but only 9% of it is recycled. More than 40% of plastic is used just once before being thrown out and at least 14 million tons of plastic enters oceans every year. To help address these enormous plastic pollution problems, an open source organization called Precious Plastic was established in 2012 with the goal of diverting plastic from waste streams, and recycling it into valuable products. They developed a series of open source, plastic processing machines which could be replicated by people with a desire to recycle plastic. Students from the University of Houston Industrial Design Program established a student chapter of Precious Plastic and obtained a plastic shredder and heat press. This paper describes some of the unique processes that a couple of students developed when challenged to design products utilizing the Precious Plastic processing machines.
Keywords: Precious Plastic, Recycling, Circular Economy, Industrial Design
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