Project:Precious Plastic

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Precious Plastic Heidelberg

Precious Plastic Logo.png
Status: shredder nearly finished,
recycling projects & more machines to follow
Release Date: first machine(s) in 2018?
Initiator: worldwide: Dave Hakkens
Team: Lukas, Mitja, Armin, Johannes,
Luca, Sebastian, Martin, Flor,
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 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

Something we can already do is collecting materials and sorting them for further use - starting with waste from the 3D Printers, for example. There would just need to be separate containers for PLA, PETG and whatever else people are printing with, and some sort of clear signage alerting everyone of the importance to sort carefully.

Mixed colors will give nice effects, but mixing different plastics might mess everything up due to their different melting points.

  • how to wash?

In order to dry your washed plastics, you can use the Spin Dryer

Promoting the Project

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



not started yet

We want to ask 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:


laser cut shredder parts before assembly

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


=> 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