Recycle your cup for fun and learning

Recycling of end-of-life resources into products that we don’t really need is not normally an activity that GallonDaily considers to be a component of sustainable development but a new initiative in Holland is so innovative and potentially educational that it may be worthy of an exception.

The Perpetual Plastic Project is a consumer recycling initiative that is bound to attract interest. Designed for exhibitions and events, the Perpetual Plastic Project is a portable system that enables people to recycle their used bioplastic drinking cups into such souvenirs as rings and key chain tags. Sponsored by Purac, a manufacturer of PLA bioplastic cups, and other sponsors, the system provides users with an opportunity to wash and dry their used PLA beverage cup, to shred it, and to insert the shreddings into a machine which melts them to form a plastic ‘string’, and then to pass the string to a 3D printer which ‘prints’ it into a souvenir item. It is easier (and more fascinating) to watch than to describe: you can see the whole process in action at

This would seem to be a fantastic way of demonstrating the potential for recycling of many types of plastic and for engaging users in an educational activity around bioplastics. People have not yet got tired of midway machines that flatten pennies into medallions so we have hope that the Perpetual Plastic Project may have a long life in fun education about plastics. Let’s hope that Purac or one of its several partners finds a way to bring this kind of interactive exhibit to events in Canada.

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