Seven #s, Precious Plastic, and our Friend Dave...

Here in Alabama, we use a lot of plastic...just one time.
It's time for that to change.

There are seven types of resin that create different plastic containers...and then there is the eighth category which is "unnumbered."

You can find these numbers, usually on the bottom of plastic containers, in a triangle made of arrows.

Each of these numbers has different properties. They melt differently, float, burn and stretch differently. They hold different elasticity and different toxins.

Most water bottles are a #1 or #2 plastic, but the lids may be #5 or a combination of numbers.

Most cream cheese and yogurt containers are a #5, most styrofoam is a form of #6.

Once you start looking at the numbers, and learning which brands use which, it's kinda FUN and a little addictive.
Like a treasure hunt.

A clever company in the Netherlands approaches different ways we can join as a community to reduce our use of single use plastics (SUP's). Dave Hakkens created Precious Plastic as part of a design project, and it has grown to empower recyclers, engineers, artists, scientists, architects and curious citizens of this planet. We only get one chance on this planet, by the way.

Dave is all over YouTube here.

With help from his community, Dave designed a shredder to shred plastic into flakes. Once in flakes, you have options!
You can compress the flakes into molds in a heating unit: The Compressor.
You can pour flakes into a heated tube-like thing to squeeze out long coils of plastics tubes (like toothpaste, but firm): The Extruder.
You can also inject heated flakes into shapes and spaces: The Injector.

The designs for these machines are all open source, open concept. You can download the designs and build your own, according to your country's power sourcing, metals availability, kg vs lbs, cm vs inches - you create and make your version, then collaborate back with Precious Plastic Community.

So what are we doing in Alabama?
Besides using a lot of plastic containers and packaging only one time?
Here in the South, we pride ourselves on hospitality, we make casseroles with cheese when we are sad, we sing songs on the front porch. Let's involve some creative problem solving around this plastics issue.

Let's start shredding and melting and creating...Alabama style!


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