MONSON — A Monson resident is working to combat plastic pollution by launching a small-scale, community-based plastic recycling workshop called Precious Plastic Monson. Precious Plastic Monson is currently crowdfunding (fundraising many small amounts of money from a large number of people) to purchase a set of plastic recycling machines that will shred collected plastic, melt it, and remold it into new products. Supporters can pledge as little as $1 to the project on Kickstarter at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mmiller/precious-plastic-monson# before March.
“If our fundraising is successful, we will purchase a plastic shredder and extruder,” said Melissa Miller, Precious Plastic Monson founder. Miller plans to create plastic beams and boards from the collected plastic and will work with other local craftsmen to build a set of benches that will be installed around Monson. Individuals and businesses can participate in this public art project by sponsoring a bench through the Kickstarter fundraiser. Up to 10 benches will be produced initially. Supporters can also pledge in exchange for other rewards like bowls, baskets and chairs made from the recycled plastic.
Just because your plastic can be recycled, doesn’t mean it is. World-wide less than 10 percent of plastic is recycled. In the United States, it is estimated that less than 5 percent of our plastic waste is recycled. Fifty percent of plastic is thrown away in less than a year and one third of it is designed for single-use. Precious Plastic Monson will start collecting four types of plastic (#2 HDPE, #4 LDPE, #5 PP, and #6 PS) from community members and local businesses starting in March (contingent on successful funding).
Precious Plastic Monson was founded by Miller and is a member of the Precious Plastic network. Precious Plastic has built a global community of grassroots recyclers by making their open-source machines, molds, and plans available and accessible to people around the world. Their mission is to turn plastic waste into “precious” objects, keeping them out of landfills. Precious Plastic was founded by Dave Hakkens in Eindhoven, Netherlands in 2012.
Kickstarter, a public benefit corporation based in Brooklyn, New York, is a crowdfunding platform for creative projects.