Plastic has been described as a lot of things, but precious? That’s a new one. However, one team in the Netherlands is working to change how we view plastic, taking it from a waste product that is clogging up our oceans, landfills and animals, and reframing it as a valuable resource.

Precious Plastic brings plastic recycling down to the household level by putting recycling tools into the hands of everyday people rather than just industry giants. As the website states, you can create "your own little plastic recycling workshop."

The Precious Plastic team, led by Dave Hakkens, the 27 year-old who created Phonebloks, designed DIY, modular machines that enable people to start recycling plastic into valuable objects and raw material, such as 3D printer filament. These plastic goods can then be put to individual use or scaled into a small business.

The machines are developed using universal materials and basic tools that are available all over the world so that anyone, anywhere can build and use them.

The designs are open source and Precious Plastic provides blueprints, a series of detailed instructional videos and the download-kit for free online.


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Cat Johnson is a writer and content strategist focused on coworking, collaboration and community. She's the author of Coworking Out Loud, a guide to content marketing for coworking space operators. Publications include Yes!