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Giving Compass' Take:
• This NextBillion post details the work of a Dutch engineer, who created an open-source platform for anybody to make their own plastic processing machine.
• It's yet to be determined whether smaller scale innovations such as this can make a big dent in the worldwide plastic pollution problem, but empowering communities to control their own management has a clear impact.
Indonesia is the largest economy in Southeast Asia, and also the second-largest contributor to global ocean plastic. In Bali, up to 110,000 tons of plastic waste are estimated to enter the waterways every year. As a social enterprise working to find practical solutions to today’s social and environmental challenges, the plastic crisis is a high priority for Kopernik — and we recently came across a solution that sounded promising.
In 2016, at the height of the makerspace movement, Dutch engineer Dave Hakkens grabbed media attention with a seemingly simple idea — to make plastic recycling machines accessible to everyone. Hakkens is the founder of Precious Plastic, a global open-source platform that provides the tools and knowledge that can enable anyone to make their own plastic processing machines. As part of its mission to encourage plastic recycling worldwide, the movement has since reached at least 40,000 members around the world, from the United States to Brazil, South Africa and China.
Kopernik wanted to assess the effectiveness of Precious Plastic’s approach to addressing plastic pollution. To test the viability of these small-scale plastic processing machines, a team at Kopernik built a plastic injection machine based on a model by Precious Plastic. Our hypothesis was that the plastic injection machine would turn plastic waste such as bottle caps into products that could be sold at a profit, thus providing economic incentives for small businesses to collect plastic waste as a potential revenue-generating opportunity. After conducting a market assessment, building the machine, and analyzing all the costs, our experiment found that the machine could generate products that could be sold at prices three to ten times higher than the production costs.
Read the full article about do-it-yourself recycling to fight plastic pollution by Vanesha Manuturi at NextBillion.