Reusing Plastic with 3D printing

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Video Transcript: We generate so much plastic waste today that it has become a serious environmental problem. Some of us do put aside our plastic bottles for recycling, but just to get the plastic to a recycling centre requires energy consumption with even more energy needed for the actual recycling. But there is a better way to reuse the plastic, and 3D printing makes it possible.

Joshua M. Pearce of Michigan Technological University has published updates on a recycling project which demonstrates that making your own plastic 3D printer filament from milk jugs uses a lot less energy than conventional recycling, and it saves you the cost of filament as well.

For the study, Pearce’s team used standard milk jugs made from HDPE plastic, which they clean and ran through an office shredder. They then used a RecycleBot to convert the shredded plastic into 3D printer filament.

Recycling one’s own plastic jug consumes 90 percent less energy than producing new ones from petroleum. It offers savings that range from 3 percent, where collection and recycling is local, to as much as 80 percent for those who have to transport the plastic first for recycling, only to have it driven over yet again to get to the recycling center and a third time to a place where it will finally be shaped into something new.

Indeed, Pearce is very optimistic about what the study means for the future, because according to him it is going to be much less costly both economically and environmentally to manufacture using 3D printers and recycle in your own home. He believes it is the future.

Post time: Feb-03-2019
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