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With Reflow, Yesterday’s Trash Can be Today’s 3D Printed Treasure—and Wastepickers Get Paid!

by • April 29, 2016 • No Comments

reflow_logo_blueTrash. What to do with it is part of our internal daily conversation of the minute we wake up and require to toss away a tissue or utilized coffee grounds and breakfast leftovers. The journey of waste (and guilt) continues to evolve with the coffee you picked up along the way in the morning, a bottle of water to get you through mid-morning, and the low calorie frozen meal you heated up in the lunchroom at work. There’s that pick-me-up soft drink you bought for an afternoon jolt and perhaps in fact a paper receipt to come with it. With the constant choice and running between the recycling bin and the trash can, it’s adequate to manufacture you want to implore ereallyone you see to please not donate you any additional stuff to throw away.

Whilst we all understand a friend who may have made the Olympic team for recycling champions, were there one, many of us only don’t have time to be that ideal. And for the reason we don’t always get trash to the correct spot, and as a few just don’t care (where are these folks? Shame!), wastepickers around the world are rewarded—generally minimally—but they are able-bodied to collect trash for a few recompense. The term ‘wastepicker’ is of course the politically correct word currently for impoverished folks in developing countries who pick up trash and are able-bodied to get money for items like glass and plastic bottles.

UntitledThe Reflow team, headquartered in the Netherlands, wants to use the recycling of that really trash to donate back to wastepickers, as they are aware of the imbalance between the service they do and the lack of income they receive—at less than $2 per day.

At Reflow, they point out that these frequently really hardworking people are a assist to the public by ridding areas of refuse, and assisting to offer to the local economy. With that in mind, they’ve made a new 3D printing filament that can be made out of plastic bottles. What once was a piece of trash in the street now has the possibility of turning into the world’s upcoming excellent innovation, and you can be able-bodied to order the materials soon in early bird Kickstarter style as the Dutch company commencees their campaign in early May.

The company says that rin factues can flow right back to the wastepickers, who may be really surprised to hear of this wonderfully ambitious new program that can in addition be responsible for feeding 3D printing equipment around the world.


A wastepicker in Africa.

The goal on Kickstarter can be to sell Reflow’s initially 5,000 rolls of filament. This only the beginning of the role they hope to play as they believe developing nations can be the initially ones to experience the huge and positive disruption of 3D printing.

“Just like mobile banking skyrocketed in Africa for the reason of broken banking structures, 3D printing can take off for the reason of broken distribution lines, high costs of transport, and lack of capital for sizeable scale production,” says the Reflow team in their latest press release.

They say that with every kg of filament bought by a user globally, 120 bottles have been taken off the streets where they lingered previously as trash. Those 120 bottles outcome in an income of $3 for wastepickers. It all manufactures logical sense, in fact, and perfectly
ereallyone involved wins.

The Reflow team is hoping to sell, beyond Kickstarter, 50,000 kg of filament in their initially three years. The number to accompany that? Should they succeed, wastepickers can be looking forward to incomes that increase by $200,000—with a total of six million bottles having been retrieved and recycled into awea few 3D printing filament.

UntitledThey assist open-source innovation, and the 3D printing filament is created to be compatible with that. They see themselves as a community enterprise, depending on partnerships with local companies like STICLAB, as well as networks like 3D Hubs. Reflow can in addition be working with the World Bank on the ReFab Dar project in Tanzania, and they say that they in addition depend on the ‘valuable-bodied work’ of local engineers and inventors in Tanzania too.

We’ll store you updated as they commence their Kickstarter campaign, to include Reflow filament and 3D printed art pieces of artists like Joshua Harker, who has been via the filament to manufacture rewards. They in addition invite you to join their challenge to offer creations for them to 3D print during the campaign. Should they select to use your 3D create, you can win numerous rewards, of filament to other submitted creations. See Reflow for additional information should you decide to enter. Were you aware that wastepickers are living on so little around the world, and that they rely on that as an income? Discuss in the Reflow 3D Printing Filament forum over at 3DPB.com.

Reflow Teaser of Reflow on Vimeo.