Waste Free Systems Plastics Program
Imagining a better future. Using waste shampoo bottles to make parts for assistive devices for children in need.
While processing waste resources from hair salons to make them more eco friendly, something became genuinely apparent, “Plastic Waste” was a major part of what was coming through the businesses, this is an Australia and Worldwide problem. Four years ago, we set to work on finding a solution and found that the waste recycling industry worldwide was very fragmented and struggling with what to do, particularly when China stopped taking the world’s plastic waste. In my research, I came across a broad community of professionals and amateurs who were 3D printing and then turning their failures into filament for reuse, and discovered a Not-for-profit group called, “Enable”, who had volunteers around the world, 3D printing prosthetics. “It made sense to solve one problem while helping another”.
This gave me the idea to start our own WFS hairdressing plastic waste, to 3D filament to assistive device program, which is a world first, we collaborated with UTS Rapido Social department and received some research funding where we tested specific waste plastics and hoped to not only to create commercial solutions but redesign the current open-source prosthetics so we can enter the very expensive assistive device market and provide cheaper versions by testing and creating uses for different plastics to be used in 3D printers. WE have also been involved on the team of the Bionics Qld Challenge to develop a prototype software to help make this a reality. Scientifically proven materials are the key to also getting medical professionals onboard to become part of our community and program.
We are also imagining how we can solve the plastic waste reprocessing dilemma in Australia, and are collaborating now with companies working in that space to create products in a smarter less cost intensive way. Imagine a world where waste wasn’t pollution-it was a Solution!!