Precious Plastic Universe (Precious Plastic version 4) launched on Tuesday 7th January 2020. At Viable AlternativEnergy, we’ve been waiting anxiously for this new update since August 2019.
With earlier versions of Precious Plastic (version 2 and 3), followers have primarily used the information shared as educational tools or for small-scale projects. A major limitation was that over 12,000 people in the community showed interest and wanted to get involved. However, these people connected online but were less connected with local Precious Plastic initiatives.
The Precious Plastic Universe aims to increase recycling rates around the world. We all know that plastic waste is a global problem. However, there are many ways of tackling this problem. Reduce plastic production. Stop single-use plastic. Create degradable items to replace plastic. Recycle and reuse the plastic that’s already made.
They introduced three semi-industrial machines for version 4, creating the shredder and the extruder pro models for heavy-duty usage. The sheet press machine is altogether a new option. They considered safety and noise pollution when manufacturing machines. As always, the parts are all documented and blueprints are available online.
Previously precious plastic products small, simple household materials because of the size of the machines used. With the new machines introduced, a whole new range of products is possible. Sheets and beams can be used for construction, seating (stools and chairs) and shelving units. Moulds are introduced for simple educational products and interlocking bricks. Functional and boring products that are very much a part of everyday life, such as light switches and plug sockets no longer need virgin materials. Information on the production of all the above items is available online for free.
Business Roles and Starter kits
As mentioned earlier, a big problem with version 3 is that people who run the spaces communicate globally but not locally. The plan is to connect to local communities. Thus, Precious Plastic Universe has created a starter kit with various roles in mind. Each role focuses on one part and together all the business roles create a recycling ecosystem. These 4 business roles are reinforced by 8 starter kits.
1. Collection points – locals bring their cleaned plastic here for sorting.
2. Machine shops – produce the machines and moulds needed for the recycling ecosystem.
3. Workspace(s) – focus on producing one or two high-quality materials. 4 starter kits cover these roles. These specialists may shred plastic, produce large sheets, make beams, bricks or precision products via injection moulding.
4. Community Point – the glue to the Precious Plastic Universe. Informing the local community of facilities in their area. Also working closely with collection points.
Everything one would need to know to start with each of these roles is available in the starter kits. Including blueprints for the machines. Videos on how to set up and run the space. Business plans, graphic materials and much more information to support the roles.
To support these roles, they created 3 business tools. Comprising the action plan, workspace calculator, and business plan template.
Action plan – details all the important components for a business plan.
Workspace calculator – a spreadsheet for financial forecasting. Details investment costs (machines), monthly costs (rent) and relevant graphs and monthly base profits.
Business plan template – combines both the action plan and the workspace calculator. Assisting you in finding financial funding for your recycling business. Therefore, it helps you to make money from recycling plastic full time.
The starting point for people that want to get involved. Location for How To (tutorials), Events, Academy and Map.
Academy – the central place for all Precious Plastic knowledge. How to build machines. A focal point to learn about recycling.
Events – such as beach clean-ups and meetups can be shared with the community.
Several auxiliary topics were investigated. This includes correctly sorting plastic using advance scanners to optimise the recycling process. Harmless compostable alternatives for plastic such as orange peels, coffee grinds and wheat bran.
Huge thanks to all the volunteers (over 100) who donated their knowledge, time and effort to these projects. Thank you also to Dave for ensuring that the information continues to be open source.
Below is the full video detailing the rollout for Precious Plastic version 4. It is well worth a watch if you are interested in joining or following this community.