Precious Plastic is a global community of hundreds of people working towards a solution to plastic pollution. Knowledge, tools and techniques are shared online, for free. So everyone can start (yes, you too!).
We are independent, poor but free
Hundreds of people all over the world contribute to the project with their skills & knowledge, single or monthly donations.
Precious Plastic was started in 2013 by Dave Hakkens and is now at its third iteration (version) counting on dozens of people working on the project, remotely or on site (somewhere below sea level in the Netherlands).
Join the fight against plastic pollution.
This is how it works:
Find a space
First step is to find the right place to create your work space. We teach you how to do it in a container (because it is easy to replicate) but it could be made anywhere depending on what’s convenient for you.
Collect your raw material
Plastic waste is our raw material. Setting up an efficient and recurrent collection system is the first step to run a successful recycling work space. Learn how to get plastic and set up a system that keeps it coming in.
Sort different plastics
Different plastic types have to be separated as they have different melting temperatures and properties. An efficient sorting system is crucial to avoid mixing plastic and ruining your process.
Shred that plastic!
Bigger plastic objects are chopped into smaller flakes using the shredding machine. Shredded plastic is easier to store, wash, melt, sell and use in the other machines or processes.
Get your paint ready
The shredded plastic should be labeled and stored accordingly to avoid cross contamination and create a material bank for your creations. Try to store your plastic by colours and start using it as your paint!
Once your plastic is ready you can start creating valuable products from plastic waste using our four machines. Each machine is slightly different but work on the same concept: melt, press, cool down.
Through the years we have developed different techniques to create with plastic waste. Products, construction material or art objects- the possibilities are endless. Now it’s your turn to take it to the next level. Surprise us!
Display & sell
Once your products are ready is time to finish, photograph and display your creations beautifully so you can sell your recycled products to people around the world.
The machines are made of different components that can be repaired, replaced, or customized.
The blueprints and tutorials for our machines will always be freely available online, for anyone to access and use.
By using basic materials, tools, and universal parts, the machines can be built all over the world.
We’ve created a series of video tutorials that are easy to follow and help you get started building the
Plastic waste is shredded into flakes which will be used in the other machines to create new things. You can select the output size of these flakes by changing the sieve inside the machine to create different patterns and processes.
Build the shredder machine
Extrusion is a continuous process where plastic flakes are inserted into the hopper and extruded into a line of plastic. These lines can be used to make new raw materials such as 3d printing filament, make granulated plastic, spun around a mold, or used in your own new and creative ways.
Build the extrusion machine
Plastic flakes are heated and injected into a mold. It’s a relatively quick process which is well suited for creating small objects repeatedly. You can make the molds completely yourself by using CNC mills or lathes, or by simply welding them.
Build the injection machine
Plastic is heated inside the oven and slowly pressed into a mold with a carjack. Well suited for making large and more solid objects, the oven itself is also a great machine for prototyping and making plastic tests with.
Build the compression machine
Build them yourself
We share all the information you need to build them yourself, or perhaps with the help of a local handyman.
The machines are made with basic tools and materials that should be easily available, wherever you live. Ready to build your machines?
We have created simple video tutorials to allow anyone to build the machines and start recycling plastic waste.
Peoples who are turning plastic into money
Terh and Permika funded Bope shop to sell high quality handmade products to Thailand’s tourist. When Terh discovered Precious Plastic he quickly started building the machines and begun to turn plastic waste into products. Nowadays, they are creating and selling recycled products on a daily basis to customers around the world. We absolutely love their special contribution to Precious Plastic with their unique spacey style, funky explorations and innovative experiments.
Their work space is located in downtown Chiang Mai- a spacious and clean place fit with an injection and extrusion machine as well as a custom made oven that allows them to produce big sheets of recycled plastic.
Bope creates most of their products from HDPE & LDPE plastic bags they pick up in their surroundings. This overlooked raw material allows them to make unpredictable & surprising creations with incredible patterns and colours. They mostly work with Precious Plastic injection machine to make tiles and coasters. However, lately they have been developing their own sheet press machine to make bigger objects like tables or shelves.
Bope shops’ signature products are the tiles and coasters- no one makes them as good! Their precision and range of colours & patterns makes them the place to go if you wanna get hold of Precious Plastic tiles. Lately they have also been experimenting making vases, stools and tables- really promising. To check their experiments you can follow their instagram or if you wanna buy some of their products you can check out their Bazar!
Learn from Bope!
Terh made a video tutorial for the community to show how he makes his unique tiles & coasters teaching the world his secrets and best practices to transform used plastic bags into beautiful products.
Rice & Carry
We love when our machines are being involved in social projects. Founded by Susi & Henry in 2012, the social enterprise Rice & Carry focuses on improving the livelihoods of local communities and securing a fair income for women in Sri Lanka. The products they manufactured are made completely out of recycled materials and fair-trade fabrics. Besides providing income to local communities, this project helps creating awareness and inspiring people to clean up the area from the ever-flying plastic bags.
Rice & Carry has a small production facility near Komari in (guess what?) a container. However, most of the products are being made remotely, so women in Pottuvil can work more flexibly. Additional Rice & Carry is selling products in several retailers in Sri Lanka and overseas in Switzerland and Spain.
They were the first to start their plastic recycling shop in a container! In their 100% solar powered shipping container at the Whiskey Point, they offer their visitors fresh coconuts on the terrace while recycling- all with ocean view included!
All their materials (hessian sacks, rice sacks, ldpe bags) are found and collected in Sri Lanka and properly cleaned before being transformed into valuable products. On top of that, all of their locally manufactured fabrics are fair trade certified by the WFTO. Aiming for a zero waste production, they started gathering all the off-cuts and (in collaboration with the Colombo Design Studio) turning them into new products with the Precious Plastic injection machine.
Rice & Carry creates bags, purses, wallets, phone sleeves, surf board scraper as well as small injected objects like key chains. The products from this recycling organization are both a nice and unique hand made souvenir or gift, and a tool for higher awareness towards reusing resources and creative recycling! Follow Rice & Carry on instagram or get some of their products on their Bazar!
Thanks for reading