Sunday, May 31, 2020
bottle caps into building materials
March 25, 2020

Cape Breton innovators turning plastic bottle caps into building materials

A local group plans to give recycled plastic a new life by turning it into colourful boards that can be used to build things like lawn furniture and fences.

Last week, some members of the Nova Scotia Power Makerspace workshop met to discuss how they will manufacture the machines to shred plastic, melt it and push the resin into moulds.

“I think the idea at the start is to use bottle caps, just shred bottle caps to begin with,” said Shawn Boutilier, a software developer and electronic engineering technician, who was one of nine people at the meeting in the New Dawn Centre for Social Innovation in Sydney.

“We’re just going to shred it up, heat it up, push it through an extruder and make plastic lumber, basically, something people can build with.”

It’s one of more than 400 projects working under the Precious Plastic alternative global recycling system. Based in the Netherlands, the open-source project lets people download for free the blueprints for building all the equipment needed to turn recycled plastic into a wide range of new products.

Dave Murphy, a machinist and expert in automation production systems, said the local group decided lumber would be a good starting point.

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