Our first plastic recycling workshop.

Plastic@Bay hosted our first recycling workshop with Green Hive, a community initiative based in Nairn. Green Hive are starting to build a community workshop to recycle and upcycle local plastic waste. So they came to visit Plastic@Bay at the Plastic Lab to see firsthand the reality of recycling locally sourced plastic pollution in a community based workshop.

We started with a trip to Balnakeil Beach for a beach clean. Plastic pollution picked up here was brought back to the workshop for sorting. We divided it into 4 categories; fishing ropes, nets and components, Ministry of Defense flares and parachute fragments, household and miscellaneous (mostly unidentifiable fragments of plastic). Out of 7.5kg collected, 6kg were unrecoverable and 1.5kg could be recycled in the workshop. This exercise highlights the reality of recycling litter and pollution, most has been in the environment for so long that it has degraded into smaller parts, usually unsuitable for recycling.

Julien demonstrated two plastic recycling techniques used in the Plastic Lab, compression moulding and injection moulding. We recycled a selection of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) plastic including, milk bottles & lids, domestic bathroom & kitchen product bottles, donated to Green Hive by the people of Nairn, and fishing ropes collected from Balnakeil Beach, respectively.

For the compression oven, Julien shredded the HPDE into fine plastic multicoloured granules and moulded them into a funky clock.

While in the injection mould everyone got a turn to cut up some ropes, add them into the feeder tube of the injection mould and make a letter each to spell Green Hive.

The session was wrapped up by discussing our Circular Economy Model as a prototype for other workshops. At Plastic@Bay we believe that tackling plastic pollution is a full time job, and by recycling the pollution we collect and selling it, we can become self sustainable and our profits can be funneled to back into supporting staff, financing remediation, education and research projects.

The group from Green Hive are enthusiastic group, we are looking forward to seeing their workshop up and running, and collaborating with them in the future.

Plastic@Bay are available to give workshops on recycling plastic pollution and adapting a circular economy model. We are also bringing the Plastic Lab on the road to schools once a month, using our portable injection mould machine, specially designed for children to operate. Using this pupils can recycle locally picked plastic litter into useful objects, demonstrating that waste has value, and thus promoting our circular economy model. To make a booking or for all other enquiries, please contact Joan, by email: joan.darcy@plasticatbay.org or by phone: 07491467550.