“Filament prices are so high that places like Protoprint could sell their filament at half that price and still give pickers a living wage while doing good for the environment,” said Pearce.
It’s old news that open-source 3D printing is cheaper than conventional manufacturing, not to mention greener and incredibly useful for making everything from lab equipment to chess pieces. Now it’s time to add another star to the 3D printing constellation. It may help lift some of the world’s most destitute people from poverty while cleaning up a major blight on the earth and its oceans: plastic trash.
At the center of the movement is a new set of standards inspired by fair trade products ranging from diamonds to chocolate.
“We are creating a new class of material called ethical 3D printing filament, like fair trade coffee,” said Joshua Pearce of Michigan Technological University. “It’s a way to help the poorest of the poor up the economic ladder.”
Waste pickers in the developing world barely eke out a living scouring landfills for trash to sell. They usually don’t bother with plastic, however, because it has almost no value.
But thanks to an emerging market, waste plastic may soon be a more alluring target; it can serve as a feedstock for 3D printer filament. What makes it especially attractive is the cost of conventional filament made from virgin plastic: about $35 to $50 a kilogram.
Pearce’s group has already developed a recyclebot that turns milk jugs and other plastic trash into filament for pennies on the dollar. And next-generation commercial-grade recyclebots are creating opportunities for businesses. But for waste pickers to truly benefit, Pearce says, the recycled filament industry will need to adhere to certain fair labor and environmental practices.
Here’s how it would work.
The Latest on: Fair Trade Plastic
via Google News
The Latest on: Fair Trade Plastic
- All of Patagonia's waterproof shells are now recycled and Fair Tradeon October 11, 2019 at 6:26 am
For years, the industry has been saying it's too expensive and too difficult to make exterior jacket material from recycled plastic, and that the resulting ... are all made with recycled materials and ...
- Earl’s Organic Produce moves away from plasticon October 10, 2019 at 4:45 am
The biggest banana-related trend at Earl’s Organic Produce in San Francisco is a move away from plastic packaging, said Jonathan Kitchens ... The company also has intensified its commitment to Fair ...
- ‘Commodity markets still work to keep farmers poor. At Fair Trade we are working to change that’on October 9, 2019 at 8:12 am
The environmental principle of Fair Trade will be renamed Climate Crisis and Protecting our Planet and its criteria will be tightened. In particular, reducing CO2 emissions, promoting sustainable ...
- Veja's New Running Shoe Subtracts the Plasticon September 19, 2019 at 5:02 am
“A running shoe has to have flexibility, strength, and memory; plastic is the best and cheapest material to do that.” Kopp is a cofounder of Veja, a French shoe company that built its popularity on ...
- The Body Shop Finds Packaging Value in Plastic Waste: Q&A with Jason Robertson August 23, 2019 at 8:03 am
Along the way, the Body Shop emphasized cruelty-free products and launched the fair trade initiative Community Trade. In recent years, the company has also begun focusing on the global plastic crisis.
- From Untouchables to plastic waste entrepreneurson August 5, 2019 at 5:00 pm
Why not use community trade to tackle one of the world’s biggest problems? In May, the project became the first plastic recycling scheme to achieve Fair Trade certification by the World Fair Trade ...
- Global push to ban plastics good for Ghanaian Basketson July 9, 2019 at 5:00 pm
As far away as Australia, the push to go plastic-free for shopping bags is driving sales ... Adinkra Designs, a homewards brand, aiming to promote fair trade and supporting educational charities in ...
- The Body Shop launches in-store take-back scheme for plastic packagingon May 14, 2019 at 3:01 am
Under the partnership, The Body Shop will purchase 250 tonnes of recycled plastic which is certified as “Fair Trade” by the NGO during 2019, for inclusion in its range of 250ml haircare bottles. This ...
- The Body Shop Buys 250 Tons of Community Trade Recycled Plasticon May 9, 2019 at 2:01 pm
Both companies say this is a world first for Fair Trade-certified recycled plastic. Verified by the World Fair Trade Organization, Plastics For Change works to help global brands and manufacturers ...
- 'Fair Trade Plastics' pays waste pickers, improves recycling collectionon May 9, 2019 at 7:56 am
Plastics For Change and retailer The Body Shop have formed a partnership to launch a project focusing on "Fair Trade Plastics" to get more plastic waste into the recycling stream. Plastics For Change ...
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