Turn Recycled Plastic into 3D Printing Filament

Sustainable Problem: Waste

As we’ve established, humans produce a lot of trash – apparently of the more than 300m tons of plastic produced globally every year, one refuse truck’s worth ends up in our waters, landfills and streets every minute.

Technology:

  • Reflow converts recyclable plastic into 3D printing filament using open source technology.
  • Reflow filament is made from recycled PET bottles collected in developing regions, and revenues from the filament go back to the waste collectors who gather these bottles, which the company claims can increase their income by up to 20 times.
  • The market for 3D printing filament – the majority of which is made from virgin plastic – is growing rapidly. A recent report predicted the 3D printing materials market will grow by nearly 266% in the next five years.
  • 3D printing seems to be offering the developing world is employment – there are an estimated 15 million people globally who currently make their living from waste picking

Stakeholders:

  • Reflow
  • Waste Collection Companies
  • Artists
  • Designers
  • Various Printing Companies

Deployment/Implementation:

  • set up a production facility at a local rubbish dump, where waste pickers convert high-density polyethylene (HPDE) – mostly used for plastic bottles – into 3D printing filament to eventually be sold to 3D printing companies.
  • Marketing campaign
  • Introduce into different societies at different levels due to so many variations

Different uses of recycled plastics in 3D Printing!

3D Plastics 3

Joshua Harker is an American artist and pioneer in 3D printed art and sculpture whose work has appeared in countless galleries, collections, publications and platforms worldwide, making him perhaps the most acclaimed 3D artist alive today. His work pushes the limits of form and dimensions to share his unique vision. He incorporates digital tools, software, technology as well as traditional mediums into his work to create art that is fresh, cutting edge and timeless.

3D Plastics 4

 

Deze Straver is an Amsterdam based graphic designer who does not enjoy writing about himself but does love to work with digital imagery, visual language, shapes and movement. His recent works explores the human form in eerie shape shifting fashion.

 

 

Sources:

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2017/jan/01/sustainable-technology-2016-climate-change-environment

https://www.ptonline.com/blog/post/startup-turns-recycled-plastic-into-3d-printing-filament-

http://reflowfilament.com/gallery.html

Comments to greentechsmartcities: It is fascinating what some people can do with garbage and plastic waste. The art collective Luzinterruptus has a history of tackling political and social issues in Europe. The “Labyrinth of Plastic Waste” is but one example. “We were looking to demonstrate, in a poetic manner, the amount of plastic waste that is consumed daily,” Luzinterruptus explained in a statement. “In addition to focusing attention on the big business of bottling water, which leads to very serious problems in developing countries, whose citizens have watched as their aquifers have been privatized with impunity for the exclusive enrichment of large business owners and ruling classes without scruples.”

https://vimeo.com/100256751

UNI:  AV2698

 

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Plastic Bottle Concrete

1) Sustainability problem: Pollution

2)

  • MIT students have discovered a way to produce concrete that is close to 20% stronger than traditional concrete by incorporating used plastic bottles. The bottles are pulverized and then added into the concrete.
  • Concrete is the most used material for construction and by incorporating bottles into them, waste going to landfills and the pollution that causes will decrease. Furthermore, buildings will become stronger and may last longer.
  • This technology also uses less cement to actually construct the concrete, which in turn leads to fewer carbon dioxide emissions.

3)

Stakeholders:

  • Concrete manufacturers
  • Building contractors
  • Landfills

4)

Implementation:

  1. Make concrete manufacturers gain access to plastic bottle pulverization machines.
  2. Educate the manufacturers on how to create this.
  3. Incentivize contractors to use this new concrete in their new building projects.

 

Article reference: https://inhabitat.com/mit-students-develop-method-to-reinforce-concrete-using-plastic-bottles/

5)

My comment on another article https://makeasmartcity.com/2017/11/02/virtual-reality-could-help-us-reduce-traveling-needs/:

“VR is an exciting and interesting new technology with a lot of potential. One great option is to use VR to host and attend business meetings around the world. This will actually also be an environmentally friendly way of doing so, as the people attending the meeting won’t be required to travel far to go to the meeting. A large portion of today’s airplane traffic is due to business travelers attending one or two meetings in another city or country. If these meetings could be taken from the office instead, a lot of carbon emissions will be spared. In addition, busy businessmen and -women wouldn’t need to leave their families for an extended period of time several times a month, they could just attend the meeting during a normal day at the office.”

UNI: ms5584

BIOPLASTICS….Now We Can Have our Cake and Eat it Too!

Sustainability Problem: Unmitigated Growth of Plastic Waste

Plastic waste is the single largest problem the world faces today, and yet there is no stopping the demand for this convenient, durable, and cheap material.  We’ve already produced 8.3 MM metric tons of plastic since 1950s, and that number is projected to increase to 26 MM metric tons by 2050 if we don’t alter our consumption patterns.

It takes over 400 years for plastic to degrade, making it necessary for us to re-use and recycle what we already have.  But the reality is that less than 9% of plastics have actually been recycled, which means that most end in landfills and eventually into our oceans.  There are many drawbacks in using this material, from increased use of fossil fuels, the leaching of toxins in our water and food supply, to increasing health problems for all life forms.

Sustainability Technology: Bioplastics

It’s difficult to alter human behavior and simply forcing people to stop using plastic won’t fix the overarching problem.  There is no other material in the world which can provide all the benefits of plastic, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be created.  The Full Cycle Bioplastics company has developed technology that uses organic waste to make their version of bioplastics.

They start by accumulating organic waste which is broken down to act as feed-stock for PHA (polyesters produced in nature).  The organic waste is first put into controlled fermentation tanks, after which they are then moved to environmentally controlled production tanks.  Here, naturally occurring bacteria consumes the waste and eventually converts it into PHA.  Finally, upon completion, the PHA is harvested, dried, and processed into a finished resin that can be molded for customized use (i.e. bags, containers, utensils, water bottles, etc.).  And because there are no GMOs used in the production process nor any need to cultivate crops, production costs drop significantly.  This alone is a fantastic development, since the major drawback to bioplastics is the production related expense.

The company produces true compostable plastic material, which can be made from food waste, dirty paper/cardboard, or agriculture products.  Because the raw materials are all organic, there is no toxicity and is safe to discard.  In fact, if it finds its way to the ocean, it can actually act as fish or bacteria food!

The technology once refined can be scalable and serve as a secondary revenue stream for cities.  Residents and food establishments routinely throw away organic waste.  But if they are incentivized to collect and sell this it instead, then we not only have a solution to the plastic problem, but also a viable solution to the food waste problem…black is certainly the new gold in this case!  With a little bit of ingenuity and a rock-solid framework, this technology can very likely be the world’s saving grace.

In the next 30 years, we’ll make four times more plastic waste than we ever have” Science, Giorgia Guglielmi, 7/19/2017,  http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/07/next-30-years-we-ll-make-four-times-more-plastic-waste-we-ever-have
FULL CYCLE BIOPLASTICS – Company website, http://fullcyclebioplastics.com/menu/
“Twin brothers convert organic waste into truly biodegradable plastic” Inhabitat, Lacy Cooke, 10/27/2017, https://inhabitat.com/twin-brothers-convert-organic-waste-into-truly-biodegradable-plastic/

Stakeholders:

  • Farmers & Food Processors to sell their organic waste
  • Waste Haulers & Compost Facilities to accumulate organic waste
  • Biorefineries for scaling PHA production
  • Cities looking to reduce their ecological footprint
  • Consumers wanting a better alternative for plastic without comprising use

Technology Implementation & Distribution:

Engage with food & beverage manufacturing companies by showcasing the quality of PHA.  Conduct presentations and hold on-site visits to allow company official to familiarize themselves with the product.  Upon successful pilot tests, reach out to larger companies with results in hand.

Work with food processing companies and restaurants to encourage organic waste collection.  The company can acquire the needed raw material for a reasonable cost, while the businesses are offered a secondary revenue stream AND save on waste removal costs.

Speak to city officials to showcase the potential for this innovation on both an environmental and financial scale.  Seek their support to push out this technology in a decentralized fashion, encouraging a closed loop cycle between organic waste and PHA production.

Ensure that the company can meet implementation demands in a seamless fashion and keep up communication with clients.  Feedback communication is imperative especially when solidifying quality control measures.

By: Bhoomi Shah, UNI: brs2147

 

Comment on “ENERGY, WATER AND INTERNET – ALL IN ONE” by GABRIELGUGGISBERG

This is great solution to extremely pressing problems in 3rd world countries.  This system captures solar energy through photovoltaic panels that converted into electricity through an internal 140 kwh battery.  It treats water through a graphene-based filtering process and can deliver 5,000 liters of safe drinking water daily.  It also serves as a charging station for devices and offers internet service for an 800 mile radius.  Talk about a WIN-WIN-WIN!  Tests have already been completed in Ghana and the company is looking at Nigeria and Sudan as their second test country.

Edible Spoons??

  1. Sustainability problem (Primarily Waste, but also addresses Water and Health):

It is no surprise that we generate a lot of waste in this day and age. Of that waste, “40 million tons of reusable plastic cutlery get thrown out every year, most of them after a single use.” It also takes a long time for plastic to break down (up to 1,000 years) and plastic has been found to contain toxins that pose risks to the environment and to humans.

(more information about plastic about be found here: https://myplasticfreelife.com/2007/07/whats-wrong-with-plastic-anyway/)

  1. Edible Cutlery can help the problem:
    • Bakey’s Edible Cutlery can help achieve zero waste by eliminating plastic cutlery
    • If you don’t want to eat it, the product can degrade naturally in less than 3 days
    • No exposure to toxins associated with plastics since the edible cutlery is 100% natural made of flour with no added chemicals or preservatives
    • Product is made of millets, which will encourage farmers to grow this crop instead of rice, which consumes 60 times more water than millets

Sources:

  1. Stakeholders:
    • All restaurants, but especially fast food/fast casual restaurants where plastic cutlery is more common
    • General consumers
  1. Next Steps:
    • Establish a trial group of sustainability-conscious restaurants willing to replace plastic cutlery with Bakey’s for a limited amount of time
    • When successful, use case study to convert additional restaurants into Bakey’s users
    • After establishing a degree of product recognition by consumers, improve website to better tell the company’s story and explain the benefits of edible cutlery

Columbia UNI: Lc3291

 

Biodegradable Eco-bags

  1. Sustainability Problem: Waste is a recurring problem that has persisted through decades of innovation towards unnatural manufacturing and processes. Delving deeper, plastic waste is a big issue because they do not degrade easily. It can take hundreds of years for plastic to break down. With an estimated worldwide consumption of 1 trillion plastic bags every year, a better solution is needed.
  2. AVANI Bio-Cassava Bag could be the solution:
    • 100% biodegradable, compostable and disposable – degrades within 90 days
    • Made from cassava starch and all-natural resins, 100% renewable – contains no conventional plastic
    • Safe for consumption – dissolves in lukewarm water
    • Can be recycled along with paper
    • Durable – look, feel and perform like plastic

Sources:

BIO-CASSAVA BAG | Avani Eco

http://www.avanieco.com/product/eco-bags

Plastic you can drink: A solution for pollution? | CNN

http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/16/world/cassava-plastic/index.html

Cassava carrier bags: Indonesian entrepreneur tackles plastic scourge

https://phys.org/news/2017-02-cassava-carrier-bags-indonesian-entrepreneur.html

#IAMNOTPLASTIC

  1. Stakeholders:
    • Supermarkets, grocery shops
    • Retailers
    • Hospitality industries
    • Food & Beverage industries
    • Consumers all over the world
    • Waste Management Facilities
  2. Next steps:
    • Invest more on advertising and outreach
    • Mass production could be a significant progress
    • Innovate further by introducing new products/alternatives and concepts

 

By: Timothy Wiranata

Columbia UNI: tw2618

Conceptos Plasticos (Plastic Concepts)

Sustainability Problem:

This technology is addressing plastic waste pollution, by transforming used plastic into bricks. Plastic can take up to 500 years to biodegrade and 75% of plastic produced globally is in a landfill or not formally disposed of.

Technology:

  • The industrial process is called extrusion
  • Uses a multilayered plastics, mixtures of different plastics and rubber to make a quality construction material
  • The bricks are shaped into pieces that interlock with each other making the pieces connect like a puzzle.

Stakeholders:

  • Government
  • Waste Management Facilities
  • People without homes

How to deploy this technology:

  • Estimate cost of extrusion process
  • Estimate amount of plastic needed
  • Involve Waste Management Facilities

References:

Oscar Mendes The man who  provides decent housing for the homeless while reducing waste plastic.

 

 

Toys from plant-based plastic by Bioserie

Sustainability problem

bioplastics

Most toys are made from fossil-fuel based plastics. There is uncertainty whether such products can have negative health effects on babies and children. Styrenes, phthalate, BPA and PVC are well known health offenders. Some of these substances can become hormone disruptors that are linked too reproductive and birth problems as well as carcinogens. Toys that are advertised as “BPA-Free”, “PVC-Free” etc, can still contain petrochemicals harmful to health. Additionally, there is an increasing interest and demand for lower carbon footprint products.

Bioserie toys provide an innovative answer for those who search for aesthetically pleasing products while maintaining their children and the environment’s health.

Technology

  • Bioserie is the world’s first to produce its toys from purely plant based plastics and materials. It uses a blend of polylactic acids without petrochemical additives. Their product is certified by the Department of Agriculture’s BioPreferred program to be 100% bio-based.
  • Modifiers are used to ensure the product to be non brittle and heat resistant. The company has focused its R&D on improved resistance and durability.
  • The coloring material are also based on sustainable raw materials specially developed for biopolymers. It Meets global industry and composting standards.

 

Stakeholders

  • Costumers (Most likely parents)
  • Toy stores/ distributors
  • Investors
  • The company
  • Environmental & health NGOs

 

Implementation

  • Bioserie and NGOs should market to parents the dangers of oil based toys and promote the comparative benefits of plant based plastic toys.
  • NGOs should pressure toy stores and toy distributors to supply more products made out of safer materials such as Bioserie’s plant-based plastic.
  • Bioserie should manage their relation networks of potential investors in order to gain more capital to further enhance the quality, design and marketing of their product.

 

Reference

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/bioserie-bioplastic-baby-toys-made-of-plants#/

http://www.plasticsnews.com/article/20140613/NEWS/140619946/turning-bioplastics-into-childs-play

http://www.bioserie.com/bioplastics.html