If you’ve ever worried about throwing away your potato chip packets, you’ll be happy to know there has been a step forward in making these packages recyclable and useful.
3D Brooklyn is a New York based company who have been experimenting with making 3D printer filament entirely from potato chip bags.
They were motivated to do this because of old food containers that were piling up in their bins. So they decided to try out recycling this waste to create something more useful.
Chip bags are created using a blend of polypropylene and polyethylene. This makes it difficult for them to be recycled and destined for landfill.
3D Brooklyn managed to produce filament that is a mix of 80% recycled polypropylene and 20% recycled polyethylene, and they have even begun selling it online.
Will Haude, the 25-year-old founder of the year-old company, said: “why make new plastic when there’s so much already out there that’s headed for landfill?”
They have teamed up with TerraCycle, a New Jersey-based company, to break down a blend of plastics. Something that they had previously tried doing themselves with their Filabot filament extruder.
Terracycle works with over one hundred major brands around the world to collect used packaging and then re-purpose this waste to create innovative products with it.
Terracycle repurposed the potato chip bags by melting them down into plastic pellets through a third party. 3D Brooklyn then converts them into filament that’s reusable in a 3D printer.
Haude said: “We just knew they had a lot of plastic. We volunteered to throw it in our machines to experiment with it, and it worked.”
So far, 3D Brooklyn has used 150 pounds of these pellets to make filament and is looking to use more. Haude estimates that a 1-pound spool of potato-chip-bag derived filament makes about 75 to 100 bottle openers.
However, as great as this sounds, once you are finished with your 3D print from recycled filament, there is the problem of disposing of this properly too – but, at least, this is another step towards dealing with plastic waste!
License: The text of "3D Brooklyn Turn Crisp Bags into Filament for 3D Printing" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.