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Movable plastic recycling machine

This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Precious Plastic Santa Maria 4 months ago.

e.v van laarhoven ericvanlaarhoven-info

Movable plastic recycling machine

15/09/2019 at 07:33

When i travelled senegal last year i was shocked about the plastic mess on beaches and in the small villages. I checked the options and come  up with the following idea.
Most poor village people are in need of wood for the fences around their houses or cattle, however wood from forests get scares in the desert and most is eaten by thermites ever year. It would be great to build a transportable plastic recycle machine that can be fed with all types of plastics and produces poles of various lengths f.e. 5 cm square and 3 meters long. This can be used by the locals or sold to other villages by the locals earning some money. As there is no colletive sense of collecting garbage outside villages it would be an idea to ask a village leader two weeks before the machine arrives to collect the plastic via the villagers and they will be rewarded by either plastic poles or small amounts of money, as most are extremely poor.
I need to find knowledge, options and sponsors for this project.
I have dutch/french and senegalese contacts in koufontine to help to setup this as a small business. I am a dutch engineer with little time or resourses but can assist in the project setup and provide workers in future.

Hope this idea stirrs up some dust.
It can and may be used throughout all areas with the same issues.


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15/09/2019 at 07:36

This message was typed in a moving car. Hence some typos.

15/09/2019 at 13:01

yes, in areas like this that’s a good option. There are quite a few portable design ideas in the bazar and on the social networks. Unfortunately you will have to invest a lot of time to copy such designs since 99% of PP folks don’t real open-source since it’s not embraced or supported by PP itself per se.

However, once you find a design candidate to copy, you have to apply regulations found in the transportation industry. This goes for electrical components (terminal block connection types) and of course mechanical parts like using certain washers. This makes sure that those machines will survive dirt roads – for years.

Good luck, that’s a good receipt and initiative. Myself believes too that PP is better on wheels than stuck at some garage ….

01/10/2019 at 21:55

Hey Eric!

I’m Mari Pinheiro, Industrial Designer creator of the movement PP Santa Maria in Brazil. I’m currently living in Amsterdam working, with circular design consultancy helping businesses to transition to a circular model.

I’m very interested the idea of in creating concepts to make the PP machines portable and on wheels.


If you are interested I can help  helping with some research and concept development.

This idea is also interesting to replicate in cities in Brazil. There are many of old/vintage cars there that could be refurbished and become a pretty cool portable recycling station.


Mari Pinheiro

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