The United Nations has warned there could be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050 if we don’t dramatically change our global plastic habits.
So with only 9 per cent of the plastic waste ever produced being recycled, there might just be room for a few different approaches.
Netherlands designer Dave Hakkens has created the Precious Plastic project to just that end.
His collection of online instruction manuals offer anyone anywhere in the world the chance to create their own plastic recycling machines at home.
The Precious Plastics site offers detailed blueprints and video guides that Mr Hakkens says anyone can follow in order to create new products out of old plastic.
We’re in this to fix one of the greatest human-related ecological disasters.”
“We’re not in this to make money,” he says on the Precious Plastic project website. “We’re in this to fix one of the greatest human-related ecological disasters.”
To make these machines as widely accessible as possible, they are assembled using basic materials and tools available from any hardware store. They are also modular, so can be easily repaired, replaced or customised, the instructions say.
Using the machines, people can shred plastic into small flakes to be pressed into new materials such as filament for 3D printing, small items such as pegs and spinning tops, or melted into larger objects such as bowls and buckets.
The project also includes a map showing the community of people around the world who have made or are interested in making these machines. The idea here is that it will encourage collaboration, allowing people with more experience to teach those with less, and for creators to showcase their products.