It has been a few months since this important environmental program by the Plastic Bank was launched to start using recycled 3D printing filament. However, that doesn’t mean the program doesn’t deserve air-time on a regular basis. We shouldn’t let it just fade into history as one of those commercial media news stories (i.e. here today and gone tomorrow).
It was only a few years ago that plastic was touted as a miraculous material but now the waste is out of control. It’s polluting our rivers and seas, littering our countryside, and endangering wildlife everywhere.
And then came the Plastic Bank who asked a question:
What if all of that waste plastic could be used as a type of currency, and then used to help reduce poverty – wouldn’t that solve two serious problems at the same time?
The Plastic Bank has demonstrated that you can 3D print from recycled plastic that it collected from the ocean – it was a world first. In this clip, the volunteers went to the shorelines of Alaska where they collected, sorted, recycled and successfully made a number of 3D prints from HPDE. A type of plastic which is notoriously difficult to 3D print from.
As the Plastic Bank have stated:
Selecting a hard to print but commonly found plastic type was an important part of the Plastic’s for Change program.
The Plastic Bank is also trying to turn plastic waste into an income for people in developing countries. Their life improvement program is aimed at empowering the world’s poorest and least fortunate to become micro-recycling entrepreneurs and manufacturers – giving them access to 3D printing where the recycled filament can be re-used.
The enterprise was founded by David Katz, a Canadian who was the 2013 winner of the ‘EO Global Citizen of the Year’. The social plastic movement has become a truly global program – read the Plastic Bank’s full story and find out how you can help.
// All Alaska footage was courtesy of Dudes on Media for National Geographic. Song credit are U2: Beautiful Day. Editing and Vancouver filming was done by Shaun Frankson. //
Update: What you can do about it – The Petition.