Ethically produced filament for 3D printers
Protoprint is a new organisation in India that is trying to help the poorest people who work picking “valuable” waste from rubbish tips. Rather than selling their plastic to merchants, they propose partner urban waste pickers in India to recycle waste plastic to produce price competitive, ethically sourced, 3D Printer Filament for 3D printers, so that every spool of Protoprint Fair Trade Filament translates to over 15 times more earnings for the wastepickers. Visit their website
They also offer India's first Mobile 3D print lab to educational institutions to give their students a first exposure to 3D printing.
The group is training refuse pickers in Pune to collect high-density polyethylene waste and then to teach them how to use the equipment to shred, melt and extrude plastic into strands of filament - the feedstock for 3D printing.
A consortium of scientists from MIT with a number of European development groups are working with the Ethical Filament Foundation to help with quality control and marketing. Apparently, 15 million people worldwide live by scavenging for saleable refuse, and the sponsors are hoping that this type of scheme will spread widely around the world.
(reported in New Scientist, p24, 18th July 2014)
They have a video here (the sound doesn’t work for me)