Category:Precious Plastic

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Precious Plastic Heidelberg

Precious Plastic Logo.png
Status: shredder & melting oven ready to use;
recycling projects & more machines to follow
Release Date: first machine finished in 2022
Initiator: worldwide: Dave Hakkens
Team: Lukas, Mitja, Armin, Johannes,
Luca, Sebastian, Martin, Flor,
Massi, who else would like to help?

Materials Used: plastic waste

Precious Plastic is an international community working on plastics recycling. You can download their entire "kit" of documentation on various open-source machines here.

There are several members who are interested in building one or multiple of their machines and establishing recyling workflows (see InfoBox).


Plastics are very versatile materials, but are mostly made from non-renewable sources and can persist in the environment for very long times after their (often short) intended life cycle.

Naturally, many people concerned with sustainability have tried to come up with ways to reuse, repurpose and recycle "waste" plastics and we want to join them! As a community workshop, we can build machines that individuals might not be able to accomodate and share them with interested people in the area. Maybe the CoMakingSpace becomes a bit of a recycling hub in the near future?

Collecting/Preparing Waste

We collect clean plastics, sorted by type, in the Precious Plastic Area. A more detailed sorting system (color) for the raw material would probably take up too much space.

We have containers for...

And would like to add...

There should be some sort of clear signage alerting everyone of the importance to sort carefully! Mixing different plastics might mess up the products later on due to their different melting points.


The easiest way to wash freshly emptied food containers etc. is to stick them into your dishwasher. Caution: PET may already deform at some programs' high temperatures!

To try: how to wash larger amounts at the Space?

In order to dry your washed plastics, you can use the spin dryer.


Mixed colors will give nice effects in the final pieces, but for everyone to stay in control over their colors we should only collect shreds of similar color! If you shred more than you use right away (probably the usual procedure), please throw only matching pieces into the plastic shredder and add the shreds to the proper storage box (color AND material).

Promoting the Project

This is a project that aims to change the world, so we need to reach a few people ;-)



At the Space:
Massi and Martin are going to print/laminate some of the posters from the Precious Plastic community to inform about the project in general (perhaps in the common room, along with some of our own photos) as well as specific facts and techniques (in the Precious Plastic area).

Collection points:
We could think about asking supermarkets whether we can put up collection boxes for bottle caps next to their Pfandautomaten - along with the box, there should also be some kind of information (flyers to take?). The collection box design should be easy to recreate when we need more, e.g. made with the CNC router.


Besides specially built machines, we may also be able to use some existing ones for plastic recycling experiments:


the shredder in September 2022
laser cut shredder parts before assembly

Plastic needs to be cut into manageable pieces before it can be recycled - therefore, the shredder was the first machine we built!


=> Instructions be built once the shredder is finished


=> Instructions

...perhaps to be built once the injection molding machine is finished


=> Instructions

...we're probably not going to build this one anytime soon but will rather try using weights and a drying oven


Not part of the precious plastic portfolio - could be made from an old cement mixer, just needs some add-ons for temperature control, a timer and some way to automatically rotate the handwheel (Flor has some experience with it). Another (smaller option) could be the open source "ROTOCASTit" machine.

You can make cool hollow shapes with a rotomolder, e.g. lamps like these!

Further Inspiration

Pages in category "Precious Plastic"

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Media in category "Precious Plastic"

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