Every second, 206kg of waste end up in seas and oceans. Surfrider fights against this very problematic plastic pollution invading nature. Through numerous programs and actions, Surfrider acts towards changing not only consumers’ habits regarding plastic waste, but also the global industry’s production methods.

Although the true solution remains drastically reducing our usage and production of plastic, specific measures enable the transformation of this waste into resources. Precious Plastic, a company created by a young designer from the Netherlands, offers a range of DIY devices making it possible to recycle plastic oneself.

A community recycling its own plastic

Dave Hakkens, a young Dutch designer, started from a sad observation: barely 10% of the 311 million tons of plastic produced each year in the world are recycled. It feels even worse knowing that some plastics stick around for about 500 years.

Convinced that the recycling habit should spread more widely, Dave Hakkens developed a portfolio of devices enabling as many people as possible to recycle their plastic from home. His approach is phased in three steps: develop recycling devices, make their construction diagrams available online for free and widely spread the word around the globe.

recycle plastic

Getting his inspiration from machines used by large companies, it took the young man three years to simplify and develop tools making their construction accessible to most people. The designer offers open source plans and video tutorials on his website, giving everyone the opportunity to build their own true small recycling plant.

The first DIY device is a plastic grinder, another transforms plastic shreds into filaments for the 3D printers and the last device compresses and molds the plastic material into any shape you want. Bottles, containers and plastic bags then become plates, vases, phone cases, lampshades… You can find some more inspiration on the community’s Instagram page.

According to Dave Hakkens, 15 days are required to assemble the devices, at an estimated cost of about 650€. Empowering this worldwide community, the designer encourages all to create and share new devices together.

object plastic recycled

Minimize environmental impact

The goal of this initiative? “Boosting plastic recycling”. This way, the designer hopes to minimize the impact that the accumulation of waste has on the environment and counts on the community to get there. The Precious Plastic concept aims at widening access to plastic reuse and recycling, relying on an open source approach. Recycling, collaboration and creativity are the project’s key words.

To this day, waste recycling into plastic material only occurs in specialized plants equipped with expensive tooling. However, it could take place at every street corner. “It is shocking to find as much plastic in the environment, as it is a valuable material, also very easily reusable”, Dave Hakkens explains. The quality of plastic is often underestimated, as it is often what single used objects or consumption goods are made of.

Even more ambitious, Precious Plastic currently works on the development of a container equipped with a full recycling unit that could be sent anywhere in the world. Offering the capability of grinding, molding, and heating for plastic extrusion, this small mobile factory would be ideal for communities lacking waste treatment facilities.

plastic container

Dave Hakkens simply has the ambition to reduce plastic waste, its environmental impact and the costs of industrial recycling. He strongly counts on his community to spread the word and exchange skills and techniques. This talented designer gives us the opportunity to improve our waste management and fight plastic pollution: a collaborative and creative initiative accessible to all.

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