Did you know that when you put your empty plastic bottles in the recycling bin most of it actually winds up being put on a ship, sent overseas and sold to the global waste market?
Did you know that much of the plastic sent overseas is burnt for fuel rather than recycled?
These startling facts along with the now iconic statement that by 2050 it is predicted there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish, is just some of the sobering information provided by Greenbatch – Perth's newest (and only) plastic processing plant.
But the arrival of Greenbatch means that there are now new options for the recycling of plastic in Perth. It no longer must be burnt overseas, but recycled here in WA and turned into something much more interesting – 3D printer filament.
While WA councils currently send the content of your recycling bins to different places, Greenbatch's mission is both educational and practical. They want to see a reduction of single use plastic in general, but also let people know that plastic can be recycled right here in Perth.
At the Greenbatch plant in Mount Claremont, the plastics will be sorted, washed and shredded before being turned into 3D printer filament in a huge range of colours. The 3D filament is then available to purchase from their website, as well as being supplied to Perth schools who partner with Greenbatch in an innovative fundraising partnership.
How you can help If you're not convinced that your plastic is being properly recycled, you can take it directly to Greenbatch on their special drop-off days and be sure that your plastics are processed right here in Perth.
They will accept PET plastic (has the number 1 inside the recycling symbol) which usually clear, and found in water and soda bottles, cosmetics, cleaners, peanut butter jars and some food containers.
They also will accept HDPE (number 2 plastic) which is typically opaque and found in milk bottles, cream containers as well as shampoo and cleaning products. Just check the bottom of the bottle to make sure it has the number 2 on it.
Volunteers will be present to help you sort your plastics into the correct bins (and send you home with anything that they cannot recycle – check the guide here) and in return you can enjoy a sausage sizzle (vegan options available), and check out the processing plant and Greenbatch shop.
Get a custom-made 3D printed gift when you donate to Greenbatch
Make sure you check out the Greenbatch 'donate' page – as all donations from as little as $10 (which go straight to their Education program) are given a special thank you gift, and includes a range of items from coasters, pen holders, flower pots and vases all custom-made in your choice of colour from their 3D printer and recycled plastic filament.