Precious Plastic- Young people working locally for global change, The Netherlands
In 2012 Dave Hakkens started to work on the ‘Precious Plastic’ project as part of his studies at the Design Academy in Eindhoven. He created a machine allowing people to recycle plastic themselves. This machine was copied, which spurred Hakkens and his team to create newer and improved versions of the machine and release these models for people to copy and build themselves. Over time Precious plastic has become a global phenomenon. An international community of people has been created that work together to recycle plastic on a local scale. Many of these individual communities are led by students. The open source digital commons project that is precious plastic gives them the means to start these recycling communities and organize them promoting civic engagement. An example of this is a group of students at Maastricht university that form ‘precious plastic Maastricht’ and run their own plastic recycling hub. Precious Plastic gives people the tools needed to start their own recycling workplaces and encourages people to take part in collecting plastic, recycling and building machines giving everyone easy access to their method
The project started out as a way to address plastic waste. Precious plastic is trying to create a space “where all the solutions needed to tackle the plastic problem come together: the people, the machines, the knowledge, the techniques and much more”.
Video about the project:
The local “flag” for the Maastricht hub of Precious Plastic