WATCH: Make a DIY Recycling Machine

Witness the good you're doing

Dutch designer Dave Hakkens creates all sorts of furnishings using plastic he recycles with his own machinery.     Photo: Courtesy of Dave Hakkens

The 2011 recycle recovery rate in the U.S. was an abysmal eight percent, prompting a Dutch designer to create a DIY plastic-recycling machine. Dave Hakkens' open-source prototype, called Precious Plastic, incorporates "salvaged stuff like an old oven" that is basic enough that anyone can recreate it. The setup, Treehugger explains, consists of a plastic shredder, extruder, injection moulder, and rotation moulder that ideally you can scrap together yourself.

Precious Plastic has so far produced lampshades, bins, spinning tops, and more, munching through the "impurities" of recycled plastic that larger-scale manufacturers are often too afraid to deal with.

Hakkens has also provided instructions in the hopes that others will manufacture their own.

"...I prefer that everybody can just use [the machines] and make whatever they want and start setting up their production," Hakkens says. "People can just make them on the other side of the world, and maybe send some feedback and say 'maybe you can do this better.'"

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