By 2050 there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish.

 
 

Our mission is to reverse this. GreenBatch is building WA's first plastic reprocessing plant, turning the PET plastic bottles we put in our recycling bins into 3D printing filament for schools to build and create with.

 
 

What happens to the plastic we put in our recycling bins?

In WA, most of us use recycling bins to separate out our plastic, paper, metal and glass from our food scraps and other waste. The recycling truck comes along to collect it all every fortnight, but then what happens? 

You might assume that if you put a plastic water bottle into a recycling bin, it's being recycled and turned back into a new water bottle. Sadly, this is not the case. Currently, there is no plastic reprocessing in WA, and only one plastic reprocessing plant in the rest of Australia (that we know of). So what happens to WA's plastic? It's not economically viable for us to send our plastic to the Eastern States for recycling, nor do they want it because they get enough plastic as it is. What really happens is our plastics are bailed up by the tonne and sold to overseas markets where 98-99% of it is burned for fuel, and only 1-2% gets recycled. 

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Burning plastics is really bad. In fact, it's nearly 30x worse at greenhouse gas production than burning coal. This is detrimental to the environment and to us, people, who have to breathe the polluted air. 

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Surely it can't be that bad in Australia though?

Australia produces a lot of plastic, over 1.3 million tonnes a year. That's 100kg per person. 
In just one minute Australians throw away 2267 plastic bottles, lots of this ends up in landfills or our oceans where it can take over 1000 years to degrade. Plastics are the most common litter items found on Clean Up Australia Day and it is estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.

How does GreenBatch help?

After the recycling truck picks up your yellow lidded bin, GreenBatch takes the PET plastic to reprocess and turn into 3D printer filament. This prevents the sale of plastics to overseas markets where they would likely be burnt rather than recycled. PET plastic is the type found in drink bottles and food packaging such as strawberry punnets or peanut butter jars, and has the number 1 inside the recycling symbol.

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We remove any labels, lids and rings from the bottle as these are made from different types of plastic and would contaminate our product. Then we wash the bottles and shred them. The bottles are melted down into pellets which can be used just like virgin plastic in any standard plastic manufacturing machinery. GreenBatch further processes the pellets into long strands of 3D printer filament. The filament is made into lots of different colours and used in 3D printers to make anything you can imagine.

So far we have made pot plants, vases, fidget spinners, key rings, cookie cutters and more which we would love to gift to you for making a donation to support the cause. The possibilities for the future are endless, we could eventually be 3D printing light posts, roads and even cars!

How can I help?

Help support the cause and reduce plastic waste however you can. Let's stop the plastic epidemic in it's tracks and reclaim the ocean!

1. Use a reusable water bottle.
On average Australians 50 water bottles a year, by using a reusable water bottle you could save over 40 plastic bottles from being landfilled, polluting the oceans or being burned for fuel!

2. Tell your friends about us.
Spread the word about what really happens to our recycling. We think it's pretty shocking and we're sure your friends would find it interesting too.

3. Consider Donating. 
If you support what we are aiming to achieve, please consider a donation. 100% will be put towards our education program and building our PET plastic reprocessing facility. In return for your generosity, we would love to 3D print you something special. 

4. Get your local school involved.
Most WA high schools now have access to a 3D printer. Filament is expensive - even when you buy it in from overseas. Why not use our 100% recycled filament made from plastic bottles for the same cost. And just when you thought it couldn't get better than that, next year the government is introducing the Container Deposit Legislation (10c rebate on bottles). Schools can collect plastic bottles and trade them in for GreenBatch 3D printer filament for free! For more information check out the printer to plastic program. 

5. Educate yourself to reduce, reuse and recycle!
We've compiled some really interesting resources together about our waste and what happens to it. Head to our Useful Resources page to find out more.