PRECIOUS PLASTIC RMIT
Bothersome isn't it?
Feel like doing something about this problem?
Then read on...
It is estimated that 5-13 million tonnes of plastics flow into the world's oceans annually. Much of it is ingested by birds and fish – and fragments of plastic have even been found in organisms at the bottom of the ocean.
Precious Plastic (PP) is a project started in 2013 by social entrepreneur Dave Hakkens at the Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands. His vision is to provide “A plan that will allow people, anywhere in the world to transform plastic waste into valuable things.” To this end Dave and his team have developed simple machines, made from second-hand and easy-to-find locally-sourced components, to recycle plastic waste. This includes a plastic shredder, extruder, injection moulder and rotation moulder, which are all based on industrial machines but modified to be less complex and more flexible. They are now providing the complete blueprint for producing these machines as open source to anybody who is keen to start his/her own little plastic recycling workshop/business.
While Dave and his team have made it very easy for some people to follow their detailed instructions to produce these machines, people who live in resource-constrained environments as typically experienced in the developing world, may not be in a position to capitalise on the opportunity in its present format. Several obstacles that include the lack of technical know-how, unavailability of components and workshop facilities, and lack of funding to purchase the required componentry all contribute to this dilemma.
This proposal broadly outlines an exciting and ambitious project that combines aspects of sustainable social entrepreneurship with resource-constrained innovation and corporate social responsibility. It involves RMIT student teams that will obtain corporate sponsorship to fund turnkey mini factories and training, all of which will be provided free of charge to participating necessity entrepreneurs within their local communities. RMIT mentors will be made available to guide student teams to ensure every chance of success.
This project has a low-perceived risk of failure and promises to deliver substantial benefits to all stakeholders. To mention a few: necessity entrepreneurs in the developing world stand to gain the knowledge and infrastructure to operate mini plastic recycling & manufacturing businesses that will benefit their communities; RMIT students will learn the principles of entrepreneurial and innovative behaviour first-hand in real-life situations; corporate Australia will find in it a meaningful vehicle to work with and develop the country’s future leaders; RMIT will demonstrate its active contribution to support innovative solutions for a cleaner and healthier global environment.
Through the dedication of enthusiastic students and staff, RMIT in conjunction with Precious Plastic and key partners have the resources and capabilities to make this project a success. The next step is to obtain formal approval for this project and to resource it accordingly.
If you are interested in joining this project, now branded as Plastic Repurposed. either as part of your group project in BUSM4054 Global Entrepreneurship, or as a mentor, please contact the Course Coordinator Dr. Gerrit de Waal at firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the form below.
Download project proposal