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Waste-Reducing Plastic Recyclers

ASU Students Set Up the ThermoLab Recycler to Reduce Waste

— May 12, 2021 — Eco
Two design students at Arizona State University, Ryan Colwick and Aleks Froelich, recently set up the ThermoLab recycler to use surplus plastic filament from 3D printing. The recycler purchased by the students and donated to the university is a Protocycler+ extruder model that breaks down plastics and polymers into usable spooled material. By utilizing the ThermoLab recycler, students will be able to preserve scrap material and filament from faulty printings or failed projects.

Through the ThermoLab recycler, the students will cut costs associated with purchasing 3D printing filament by 80% while reducing plastic landfill waste and protecting the oceans. The innovative eco-forward project won a Sustainability Challenge Grant from ASU's Changemaker Central. The ThermoLab recycler serves as a proof-of-concept for the economic viability and circularity of plastic extruders.

Image Credit: Core77
Trend Themes
1. Waste Reduction Through Upcycling - Designing and implementing upcycling methods for surplus materials can reduce cost and waste while preserving natural resources.
2. Circular Plastics Economy - By introducing equipment that breaks down plastics into usable material, businesses can promote circularity in plastics and reduce the environmental impact of plastic waste.
3. Innovative Eco-friendly Solutions - Businesses that focus on innovative, eco-friendly solutions in product design can promote sustainability and social responsibility while reducing costs and waste.
Industry Implications
1. 3D Printing - The use of upcycled filament in 3D printing can reduce the cost and waste associated with the production process.
2. Plastics Recycling - Investing in equipment that breaks down plastics and polymers into usable material can reduce the environmental impact of landfill waste and promote circularity in the plastics industry.
3. Sustainable Product Design - Businesses that focus on sustainable product design can reduce environmental impact and promote social responsibility while also benefiting economically through reduced costs and increased consumer demand.
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