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no, we’re NOT creating an army !

05/08/2018 at 19:58

Dear Guenter, Anne, and whoever is sitting behind this account @anne-barbier,
I have been reading all your replies in the forum, and never found a moment to react to them, but now is the time!

First of all I would like to thank you for your feedback, support and input you’ve already given to this community. You seem to be very dedicated to Precious Plastic and it seems like you’re very much into further improving the machines and platforms, which is great.
You do have very valid points and many of them have been on our list for a long time already – like giving more realistic numbers and experiences around building the machines. In fact, we mentioned your name (and with your name referring to all of your feedback) many times while making the plan for V4 (not joking!).

Reading your reaction to V4, it seems like we couldn’t communicate our plan and priorities clear enough for you – I will give it another try.

We are planning to rebuild the whole infrastructure, based on everything we know about our community and its interactions, needs and potentials. This will include huge improvements of all platforms:
– the website with a better documentation of information, experiences and tipps
– the
map with a much more detailed filter, so people can find components, collection/recycling places, workspaces, events, people and more,
– the
bazar (too many necessary improvements to list them all here) and of course
– the
forum with a better search/filter function, documentation process and more, so people will FIND their answers more efficiently etc.

We discussed our approach with our experienced developer and came out with positions for a number of UI/UX designer and developers – we’ll have a team of 7-9 people working ONLY on the online world, FULLTIME! I don’t know how experienced you are in building digital platforms, but we are certain that we’ll have passionate and skilled people onboard who will achieve more than just “some infrastructure updates”!

(Side note: All this will fully serve the COMMUNITY, help people in the building process and enable them to build networks, take action locally and share what they learn – I don’t see your point how this could be about “Dave Hakkens’ toys”)

You summed this part up as “a lot of machine tasks” like that’s a bad thing?
As you should know, this project is not only open-source, sharing everything we learn, but also trying to involve the community’s engagement and suggestions and to react on their demands.
The machines and tools on our plan are exactly that: reactions to the issues and demands we found in our community.

Safer, more efficient and reliable machines
were big on this list – and that was even one of YOUR points, so I really can’t understand why you suddenly degrade it as useless. And by the way, developing a “bigger shredder” is not at all for our shop, but (as everything we do) mainly for the community to rebuild. But of course we have to build and test it first before we can share what we’ve learned.

And in the same way, we know from our own & the community’s experiences that solutions to all the difficult plastic types (PET, Styrofoam etc.) are much needed and will require people to fully dive into the topic to develop a proper tool/technique.

and tools we will make sure to document everything we know about components, realistic prices, capacities, challenges, experiences and variations. So people can get an impression of how difficult, expensive or time-consuming it is, BEFORE they start building. (This should make you very happy!)

To me, it cost literally just a fraction (of the bloat you are going to pay ) to help on each continent by giving machine builders the means like a laser cutter, lathe etc.

Sounds so easy how you say it – maybe you could think it through and let us know how exactly this plan would look like (Which countries/cities and who exactly would you give them to? Which machines, which prices and how will they maintain them etc.)?
As far as we experienced it, it definitely requires much more than just putting machines in a place if you want to help the people for a long run – we’re always open for good ideas though, so feel free to further explain your concept.
But in general, getting or building the machines is actually not the problem – the materials and technologies are available in most countries, it’s mostly just about KNOWING where to get parts/services and how to get them cheaper (an issue which will be solved more and more by map and bazar).
People ARE building the machines everywhere in the world – despite the lack of realistic numbers etc. in the download pack (we are very sorry for that and, as already said, will definitely update this as soon as possible!).

BUT one BIG question then is still: What to produce with the plastic waste and how to run a successful recycling workspace?

Seems too unimportant for you to mention, so you might not agree, but this is an important question for us and the community.
There are so many things which can be made out of plastic, but we have to make sure to find solutions for outcomes which are sustainable, useful, applicable and which just make sense.
And then there are even more topics we want to work on to help the community – like a business plan for various locations and concepts (finally!) and ideas and guidelines for activities like events, cleanups, campaigns, competitions etc. We would like to facilitate and offer a “toolkit” for every step of becoming and running a workspace/project tackling the plastic pollution.

I’ve got really upset, nothing learned, nothing added, nothing changed.

I don’t know what kind of plan you were expecting, but if we only find solutions for all the things listed in our V4 plan, that would already be a huge thing and so far we only got good feedback and encouragement from the community.

If you have another, better plan, go ahead and gather people to join you – we would be happy to see and learn even more!


Unpaid jobs or calls for volunteer works. I am not sure where the hard earned 300.000 go but from what i see it’s going into the wrong pockets, again.

It is hard to estimate how much exactly we will require for:
– accommodation and healthy food for nearly 40-50 people for around 6 months
– machines, components and materials for the development
– budgets for PP workspaces/designers working on solutions remotely
– maybe events/exhibitions etc. to communicate the project …
But one thing is for sure: It will all be spent on developing solutions and facilitating people to do it.
And about the volunteer jobs: We could also take the money which we will spend on food and accommodation and just give it to the people, but we experienced that it creates a much nicer atmosphere if it’s the other way around. You don’t have to like it, but that’s the Precious Plastic way and there are enough people who really like this way of “getting paid”. (I personally like it much more!)

Some reactions to your words:

“monolith pyramid structures”

I guess by the static pyramids you mean Precious Plastic as the top of the pyramid. If so, okay then let us be the top of the pyramid which is trying to gather, document and share everything in one place, exposing it in a concentrated and understandable way to the big “bottom part” aka community.
What’s so bad about that?
We don’t force anyone to do anything, we just share knowledge and experiences, constantly try to improve everything and motivate people to collaborate and help us & each other. What people do with this, is completely up to them.
But I’d say the numbers speak for themselves – more and more people joining the forum, bazar and map, exchanging and developing solutions.

“more censorship “

No idea where you see censorship, could you explain that?

If you mean the realistic prices/sources etc: We’re not trying to hide anything! Again, we will gather every information and share it, but it will take a while as we want to do it properly and understandable for everyone.

“permanent lack of moderation and support”

Yes, we are still a small team of volunteers, contributing their free time for the project. The moderators are doing their best to answer upcoming questions and helping people to find what they are searching for. This is all we could offer so far, but this is also what the community is for and why all those people play such an important role.

We’re hoping to improve this and fully facilitate people to collaborate and help each other without requiring a person to moderate.

My feedback for you:
I don’t know if you realised (or if that was even your intention) but the way you write your messages spread a bad mood in the community.
The forum is there for constructive exchange and collaborative research and development.
I am not saying that criticism and honest feedback is not welcome but the way you write it is often becoming rather deconstructive and very disrespectful (towards us, the PP team, as well as towards other community members). Accusations like „you’re abusing people’s good intentions“ or „the money will land in the wrong pockets“ are just super imprudent and make me think that you maybe should inform yourself again about the intentions of the project and how we work.
Again, I know you are also helping a lot, and appreciate that a lot. But please leave out these unfounded and unnecessary comments about ignorance, lies, intentionally abusing others etc. These assumptions of yours are obviously not shared by the others and don’t help anyone (rather the opposite).
As far as I understood your intention IS to fight plastic pollution and help others to do so right? I can’t see how negative comments would support these good intentions? You’re rather creating a disadvantage for yourself, because others loose the confidence and trust in your person/account.
I hope you can take that as a feedback and seriously think about it.
Just as we took your feedback and WILL include it in our next updates!


And finally, yes, we ARE one army!
We’re putting as much energy as we can in this project and have already come very far, have helped many people to start their recycling project, to build up networks and make a change locally. There is a reason why we have such a growing community and win awards like the recent one.  Our global community is a very important and inspiring part of Precious Plastic and we already ARE an army of people working on solutions. It’s about learning and sharing – ENRICHING EVERYONE!

P.S. Call me a fool, but fact is that I managed to build my shredder for 180 + 120€ Motor (without scrapyard components). And it’s working just fine. As I said, it’s about knowing where and how to get your components efficiently. 🙂

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