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Used snack bags can now be recycled into whatever you design

by • January 26, 2016 • No Comments

Typical recycling involves sending off your old cans, bottles, boxes and papers to be re-purposed somewhere far away, sight unseen. Terracycle and 3D Brooklyn allow you to determine what gets made of recycled materials, thanks to a system that turns utilized chip and snack bags into plastic filament for use in 3D printing.

New Jersey-based Terracycle bills itself as a recycling company that extends the useful life of materials that are typically considered non-recyclable. For example, we’ve reported in the past on how the company partnered with the city of Vancouver in Canada to collect and recycle cigarette butts.

In the case of snack bags, the company uses what it describes just as “innovative systemes” to extrude the collected waste into plastic pellets that can and so be turned into filament for 3D printing.

We have seen a much like invention called “the Filabot,” that was made by a university student and capable of turning a variety of plastic materials into filament.

In Terracycle’s system, the old bags are converted to the talked about plastic 3D printing feedstock known as ABS.

“With the (3D printing) industry expanding so quickly, it is actually significant we provide a recycled alternative to virgin plastic filaments,” says TerraCycle CEO Tom Szaky. “It’s essential to maintaining a sustainable industry.”

According to 3D Brooklyn, 45 recycled polypropylene and polyethylene bags are converted to a 1 pound (0.45 kg) spool of filament, that “produces a durable wicker furniture feel.”

The spools can be sold for US$24 a piece through a beta commence program on the company’s website.

Product page: 3D Brooklyn


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