Precious Plastic & The Circular Economy

I love the idea behind precious plastic, and I really respect the PP team for the promotion, foundation and awareness they have built. That said, I have a couple hard questions about its success to date, and it’s goals as part of the circular economy.

1. Precious Plastic aims to encourage a circular economy, what have we achieved so far to accomplish this? Have individual locations had success (for instance) shredding milk bottles and then selling the plastic back to milk bottle manufacturers?

2. Which brings me to the second big question: with the goal of a circular economy in mind, or supporting developing nations to turn waste into products … what functional, helpful items have been made so far? The bazaar seems to mostly be “gifts to buy for a quirky auntie” like a colourful clock, lampshade, or artistic wall tile. Have we had success making (or providing recycled materials to) functional items such as bottles, bricks, lengths of fencing, plastic pallets, helmets or other such things?
I’ve seem some exciting proof-of-concept ideas like a bench or shredded-PET brooms, but these seemed like once-off events.

3. In nations with higher GDP do you feel the precious plastic locations should aim to do everything (collect, organise, shred, make) or focus on certain aspects? (eg: obtain plastic from municipal recycling plants and then operate as more focused factories for making certain products). Either option could still encourage a smaller footprint and a circular economy.

(I think V4 is helping tackle these big questions too – particularly with the manufacture of furniture / practical items?)

EDIT: I’ve done some further reading and found that this is one of the biggest community requests in V4 – so apologies for diluting the discussion posting this here!


1., 2. I’d say it’s all still in the first stage ‘make it work’, right before ‘make it good’ and followed by ‘make it fast’. At the moment I am not aware that any PP item made it back into circulation; as often energy & labor overhead has yet to prove this activity for viable, at least for the 99% I know of on all networks. There seem to be 5 – 10 teams/individuals who could make this as a living but not sure though.
3. nailed, focusing more on products by having cheap and clean recycled plastic en mass may change things a lot. In traditional plastic injection business for instance they take 20% of recycled plastic just. The rest is color and virgin. Removing collection, sorting, and cleaning, etc… from the equation may could change the game a lot but even though, machines are insane expensive.
There are some promising insights on

I’d be happy to hear more about such things from the creators of PP; there are indeed lots of unanswered questions 🙂