Plastic Vision Art Collective (PVAC) and Trash Hackers Collective (THC) founding member, art education director and maker. PVAC and THC are collectives based in Portland, Oregon.
Finding itself at the intersection of environmental and social possibilities, Plastic Vision is reimagining disposable waste-destined plastics as a raw, valuable resource. PVAC’s mission is to create local plastics recycling projects through small scale educational community programming.
Trash Hackers Collective is an ad-hoc group of artists, technologists, engineers, designers, educators and learners all interested in demystifying and understanding plastic recycling. We bring our diverse skills and perspectives to gain insights into the opportunities, challenges, and surprises as we all attempt hands-on plastic recycling. We hope that communicating our lessons from local-scaled plastic recycling can help others better understand this issue. THC is currently conducting industrial hygiene and safety modifications research while creating recycled products on hands through shredding, extrusion, oven conduction, 3D printing, CNC milling, laser cutting; and mold tests. @trashhackers
Cleaned, recycled and shredded plastic
Modified oven and laser etched via THC.
THC member’s shredder/extruder system.
3D print recycled PP
There is currently little to no market for post-consumer plastic. In 2017 China ceased taking co-mingled recycling from the US and most types of plastic are now destined for landfills. Many communities are looking for a solution for their plastic waste and meanwhile many industries are looking to source their materials in a more responsible way. Transportation, processing costs and low-market value are some of the challenges that make recycling difficult on a large scale. Our model is not to process a large volume of random material, rather to consider waste streams individually and design ways to process them locally.
These efforts are to reintroduce recycled plastics as a valuable material to our community; recognition of current behavior and a significant understanding; and change in practical applications will show at a community-level.