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Closing the loop - Recycling waste plastic
conference contributionposted on 2021-08-26, 01:07 authored by C Bruce, K Sweet, Jeongbin OkJeongbin Ok
Worldwide we produce billions of tonnes of waste per year, including a million tonnes of plastic waste. Currently, there are methods for recycling plastic, but these methods can be expensive and time-consuming, resulting in most of the plastic being thrown into the landfill. Because plastic does not fully degrade, it ends up in the ocean and other waterways, poisoning the water with toxins. The purpose of this research is to provide a solution to reducing plastic waste by creating an alternative method of recycling that utilises new technologies such as additive manufacturing, to create a building material that fits into the concept of the circular economy. The findings of this research explored the recycling of plastic by collecting plastic waste such as PLA (Polylactic Acid) from old 3D printed models and other sources. The plastic was recycled into filament for additive manufacturing (AM) and used to print a building component, establishing a foundational proof of concept for the use of recycled plastic as a potential building material.