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Setting up a Precious Plastics local co-operative?

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Sarah King margeryk

Setting up a Precious Plastics local co-operative?

12/11/2017 at 01:29

Hi everyone,

So I’m thinking of trying to set up a Precious Plastics workshop in a shipping container as some sort of community co-operative.

Has anyone else looked into this?

I need to do more research, but I am hoping to get charity grants to cover the set-up costs and this generally requires this to be a community interest initiative, rather than a personal business.

This would mean the facility would be established; key volunteers would be recruited to run the facility and school and community groups would use the facility.

Thoughts? Ideas? Help?!!

I am happy to share my progress with others if there is interest.

Have a great Sunday everyone x

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12/11/2017 at 13:58

Hi Sarah, What part of the country are you in? (Cumbria?) There are often local and national grants available for projects like this, though application can be a lengthy process (6 months to a year) involving lots of paper work, perhaps you’ve looked into this already.

There may also be other local community groups nearby you could cooperate with. If you are near a Makerspace/Hackspace or ‘Men in Sheds’ type group this could be a valuable source of people with the time, skills and resources to put something like a Precious Plastics workspace together. Even environmental/conservation volunteer groups (of which there is a large national network) could be a source of enthusiastic people for a project like this, and these people are generally well clued-up on where to apply for money.


17/11/2017 at 16:10

@margeryk Sounds exciting Sarah. I read that you might be moving abroad in another thread. I’m in Northumberland. There are a few really switched on community groups here who I think would be interested in collaborating with you and doing the hands-on stuff. It might be an idea to try to set up a trial here in Hexham. You’d then have a template to share with others wanting to set up their own project, or for you to set up similar projects elsewhere. Let me know your thoughts, Tim.

24/01/2018 at 23:25

This evening we had our first public meeting and it was tough but good.

Do you know if anyone else in the UK has created one of the workspaces in the shipping container? The UK seems so laden in red tape that getting something like this done is a bit of a headache.

One of the issues I hadn’t thought about was planning permission. I guess we’d need to apply for planning permission?

Another was electricity. Do any of you use solar panels? And the issue of toilets were brought up. As well as training, health and safety.As was division of labour vs division of profit.

Vandalisation of the facility and stocks of ‘raw’ materials was another issue, and I’ve just thought about insurance.

Although I have the email addresses of some interested people and we have agreed another meeting I must admit I am a bit deflated. Boo.

25/01/2018 at 17:31

Sent you a pm, hopefully we can help each other out with starting up our precious plastic workshop 🙂

25/01/2018 at 22:17

@margeryk Bureaucracy sucks… and planning a project like this involves so many small details that could make you want to just give up, but keep going and things will work out with patience and effort 🙂

Using solar energy for the workspace is feasible, but not cheap. The amount of watts consumed by the PP machines would require an inverter of at least 6000w which costs around $1200, plus at least 15kw worth of batteries, plus a solar charger/balancer, plus a minimun of 4000w worth of panels…. totals would be close to $6000 to $7000, so I would stick with regular electricity at least at the beginning.

Congrats on your first meeting 🙂


25/01/2018 at 23:15

Hi @margeryk @canballymoney in what stage are you in? Have you established yourself or only enquiring for now?
I’ve been working on a project with other forum users here, have a look: http://onearmy.world/community/forums/topic/uk-project-to-build-and-run-ppv3-container

We’re contacting possible partners and figuring how things would work. Please send me your email on a private message so that I can send you the business plan (also community interest company)

As an engineer and machine builder myself, I’ll soon offer the machines for hire, in addition to purchase, that way you don’t need to spend too much at the beginning and can only pay for them when you want to use them. Please get in touch!


16/02/2018 at 20:04

@margeryk I am thinking the same but in Cornwall. So much to think about to make your head spin around!!But it is exciting! Good luck 🙂

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