Product Ideas Development…

Hi everyone!

Excited to be thinking about taking something forward and I have no doubt that Dave’s machine designs work… And assuming we all have access to supplies of waste plastics, surely the next question – even before choosing which machine to build first (apart from the shredder) – is “What should we make?” Applauding also the mould design group which is the next step in developing this project after getting some GREAT products on the table…

Bearing in mind that most of the plastic is driven by the things we use most – food and drink containers/packaging, cups, plates, takeaway boxes etc would seem the logical place to start, however there are, a least in the developed world, huge hurdles to be jumped over before even thinking about producing objects for sale… So what other objects do people actually need, and buy/use today – everywhere in the world – that could be made with our recycled plastics?

We started throwing a few ideas around here in St Martin, based on the fact that these things should be 1. Useful, 2. Needed by a lot of people:

Cups, plates, cutlery and re-usable takeaway boxes – yes, if we could find a way of leaping the regulatory hurdles this has got to be one of the best things to be making…

Furniture – using either extruded plastic, or yarn (plarn) developed from extrusions or plastic carrier bags

Building blocks – there are a couple of threads here about construction blocks and there is a company in the US making 5ft building blocks using recycled polystyrene packaging… got to be a winner but we would probably need a new machine for that Dave!

The injection moulding has limitless possibilities, but I struggle to come up with whole items that people need… we’re looking at parts for larger things

Have I set the ball rolling?


Sorry, this should have been the link to the building blocks:

Great idea re septic tanks. The plaswood group in the UK use LDPE for outside use and their website says it’s “everlasting”! Rot proof and recyclable. Not the same amount of UV degratation found in the UK though as Delhi or the Caribbean!

I’ve also recently seen this – we could be making the components???

<iframe src="" width="476" height="476" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allowFullScreen="true"></iframe> in Scotland are making recycled LDPE lumber (and other products) using the end of life membranes made elsewhere in the group of companies.

These are being used in decking etc. But they’ve also been involved in incorporating the plastics gathered by Hubbub in London found floating on the Thames. The waste has been incorporated into lumber that has then been used to build a boat…. to go and collect more waste plastic from the Thames…

Love this 360 degree thinking!

@jsk555 Exactly!

These are sophisticated lists of ideas, the chair is so unique and innovative in designs… right now, being so sustainable and earth friendly, I use teak wood furniture for both indoor and outdoor, just recently I got this one


These are sophisticated lists of ideas, the chair is so unique and innovative in designs… right now, being so sustainable and earth friendly, I use teak wood furniture for both indoor and outdoor, just recently I got this one

First off, great initiative, website and community. Been trawling through pages for the past few days and there’s so much to take in.

There are many products I can mention of but thinking of how people in the developed world are so nonchalant about buying and throwing things away (guilty myself!), I thought maybe to focus on ones that hopefully won’t end up back in the landfills too soon. Some things might have been done/mentioned before so excuse me if there is repetition.

From what I’ve seen, when the shredded plastic is not colour sorted, the results have interesting textures with vibrant colours. This combination can be used to its advantage in children’s environment. Tables, chairs/stools in nurseries and schools. Slides and swings in playgrounds.

But I think the best place for recycled plastic would be for public spaces. Seats come to mind. Bus stop benches, train seats, toilet seats… (If anyone reading this has the power to change the disgusting fabric London underground seats to recycled plastic, why haven’t you already?). It’ll be nice if the countries that have been using the majority of plastic, buy back recycled plastic from the countries they have dumped them in, then literally sit on their own rubbish.

@hugonator something easier and that has a bigger market is plastic wood/lumber

Hi, here is Martin from Slovakia. I would like to appreciate posts from @saminstmartin. Yes i agree that we should focus on object which is very usefull, and we as humans use it very often. Also it should be something easy to create. Idea of creating benchs is awesome. Also im interensted in making flowerpot. Is is also very easy to make. Guys do you have any other ideas ?

all we need to do is get some mold designs going and then make a library.

cnc 2 and 3 part molds.

Goog morning,

look this product:

what about making septic tank style toilet systems out of HDPE or PP?

does anyone know about stabilising plastic for outdoor use/underground/sunlight etc.

What plastic is current septic systems made from?

Beatifull project,

Congrats for your job. Great idea

Thanks for sharing

We also came up with the idea of making rope! You can use several types of plastic to make rope – fishermen typically use polyethylene which floats but Nylon has better handling qualities… not sure how to segregate Nylon or whether different nylon materials can be combined…? I believe you can also use PET and HDPE for rope making.

Another machine needed of course, Dave! Something to make and combine micofilaments and to twist strands into twine and then twine into 3 or 4 strand.

I can’t avoid mentioning
a Costa Rican initiative to provide free 3D Printed bionic prosthetic arms to people in need through partnerships and donations.

Yup, I’m totally with you on this Sam!

The machines are amazing and the project to offer them and their designs for free is both brilliant and generous. In order to drive adoption though the output products have to be desirable. To use the well oiled metaphor we need ‘killer apps’.

When I mentioned Precious Plastic to a friend, he sent me this:
Open Biomedical Initiative

In my own research I’d also come across this:
The Open Hand Project

Both of these are 3D printing projects which look to improve lives by allowing open sourced engineering solutions to be propagated to the users who need them most. It seems to me that both of these projects would have a need for 3D printer filament coming out of Precious Plastic (PP) units but that the other PP machines might convey additional possibilities to such projects too.

I think building or designing things which offer tangible life benefits to those who buy or use them are products with kerb appeal. Since people basically need the following, any product which helps meet these needs might really change peoples lives for the better: Food, Water, Sanitation, Light, Heat, Clothing, Shelter, Community, Communication, Means of income.

It always concerns me when people like me, in the privileged developed world, build solutions we think people in the developing world need. With that said, I’m wondering if the following would help meet some of the needs I outlined above and be worth discussing with people who don’t have access to some of the basics.

Water Pumps and sections of pipe for distribution (also good for farming and hydroponics), Propellers for Wind Turbines (as good in the EU / USA as they are in the developing world), Fishing Nets (from filament weave perhaps), Bicycles (assembled from smaller parts perhaps?), Clear plastic sheets for skylights (see the coke bottle skylight project), Insulation (from filament weave).