PRECIOUS PLASTIC: Lucy Dunton with Aiden Ryan, left, and Luke Christiansen at a Brighton beach clean-up with some of their products made from rubbish. Picture: EMMA BRASIER
PRECIOUS PLASTIC: Lucy Dunton with Aiden Ryan, left, and Luke Christiansen at a Brighton beach clean-up with some of their products made from rubbish. Picture: EMMA BRASIER

Plastic fantastic as group turns junk into treasure

CREATIVE and enterprising South Australians are collecting waste plastic and making new products using homemade machines in a backyard shed.

Precious Plastic SA is part of a global community of more than 40,000 people united by a common desire to fight plastic pollution.

Flinders University environmental science student Lucy Dunton said she was inspired by mastermind Dave Hakkens's video on Facebook.

"We're really enthusiastic about doing something, changing the way people think and creating this amazing community, to share skills and advice and connect with like-minded people," she said.

"Plastic can be used to make practical, everyday items as a way to combat plastic pollution."

The core crew of four is expanding as others put their hand up to offer their time, skills and resources through the global website or local facebook page (Precious Plastic South Australia) and join the group (Precious Plastic South Australia Group).

Fellow environmental science student Aiden Ryan worked with mechanical engineer Luke Christiansen to build the team's compressor machine in Luke's Dad's shed at Holdfast Bay.

They're now collecting parts for a shredder, so they can stop chopping plastics by hand.

Raw materials come from organised "beach cleans", when discarded recyclable rubbish is collected for reprocessing.

 

Aiden Ryan with plates remade from recovered plastic. AAP image/Emma Brasier
Aiden Ryan with plates remade from recovered plastic. AAP image/Emma Brasier

 

Polypropylene or PP plastics are taken back to the shed where they are turned into new precious plastic products such as bowls and "gemstones".

"A bowl could be made out of 10 reusable plastic containers," Mr Ryan said.

He hopes to start selling the recycled plastic products in the near future.

Nic Wipf-Grant says Precious Plastic SA is part of the burgeoning sharing economy: "We want neighbours to share skills with neighbours."