We recently stumbled across a new environmental collective called Are Your Mad, they have a pop-up shop on London’s Carnaby Street. It is the world’s first high street plastic recycling studio and is the first closed-loop plastic recycling project in an urban community. They educate on plastic and how we can think about it as a circular material – one that we can reuse for new purposes. At the workshop you bring your plastic recycling, shred it into pieces, colour coordinate the pieces for your design before melting it into a beautiful new product.
They also invite people to bring plastic waste and make their own products using three machines. The more colourful the better, which is what we like to hear! The first machine used is the shredder. Its motor powered granulator is able to shred about 25 to 30kg plastic waste per hour into fine granules. The shredded granules are then put into an injection machine which heats the plastic granules to the right temperature and injects the melted plastic into moulds. Alternatively the plastic granules can be heated in an extruder. This machine is better for making larger products such as beams, pipes and freehand creations.
A whole range of products can be made from your old plastic rubbish. In store they have examples of tables, shelves, bowls, cups, flower pots, trays and flat panels that can be used for construction. It is so exciting to see a new enterprise like this focusing on a zero waste method of production. Here your imagination can help to create products from plastic that can be used over and over again.