St Nicks

Centre for nature and green living

Precious Plastics York – kickstarting a plastic revolution in York

Precious Plastics York
Precious Plastics York

Our month-long Precious Plastic York crowdfunder goes live today. We have many rewards available for our supporters check out the crowdfunder here.

Based on the open source designs available from the lovely folks over at Precious Plastic, we will be developing machinery to recycle plastic waste ourselves.

We want to change hearts and minds about waste and have a fun, creative time while doing so. Our products will be locally produced with clean energy, reducing waste and carbon use​, making them a  much more sustainable option than brand new goods shipped from far away. We will create a community space to give waste plastic a fresh start, producing locally made items such as soap dishes, snack trays, tile, planters – the sky’s the limit! Once we have the machinery, you will be able to get involved through joining in on hands-on sessions, buying and making products and more. We want to reach kids, families, local residents, makers, students, zero waste enthusiasts – anyone interested in tackling the plastic problem and having fun while doing so. We will also offer locally made sustainable products to local businesses. Want to know more? More details on our website.

As well as saving carbon and materials, we want to help wildlife. Most plastics are used for mere minutes but will last in our ecosystems for hundreds, sometimes thousands of years. Not only are animals physically consuming and getting entangled in plastics, the plastics can release harmful compounds such as hormone disruptors and carcinogens. These chemicals, and the physical microplastics then get passed up the food chain (termed bioaccumulation) mean the top predators such as whales are accumulating the highest levels of contaminants. Unfortunately it’s been found that humans are eating plastic too. Microplastics have been found in seafood, salt and water! So it makes sense to get plastic out of our environment and put it to good use instead.

Why not just recycle? Recycling is great but there are better waste reduction solutions. This project has at least five waste reduction aims:

1 to reuse plastic, saving it from a long journey to be recycled into usually poor quality/disposable products.

2 to encourage people to rethink their relationship to waste and change their behaviour through engagement in our sessions and/or involvement in the Precious Plastics community.

3 to use design principles to create sustainable long-lasting products that can be made into something new by us at the end of their (long) life cycle, modelling circular economy principles

4 where possible, for our products to help reduce landfill through their very function, e.g. reusable food containers.

5 through engagement with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths) students and professionals, providing a real life “test bed” for a wide range of people to learn about and come up with practical and creative solutions for waste reduction.

We need at least £5000 for some basic machines, and would like to reach £10,000 for a wider range of machines and to fund community activities. We’ve been chosen as one of only 15 applicants nationally to have donations matched by Marks and Spencer as part of their Community Energy Fund – doubling your impact. That’s not all. We want to create clever designs that cut down on waste through their very use, and that can themselves be recycled at the end of their (long!) lifespan.


How can you help?

23 November 2020