TO TRANSFORM PLASTIC WASTE
A number of years ago, Louise Hardman, a Zoologist/ Chemistry teacher, became determined to stop plastics entering the sea after witnessing a small green turtle die a slow and painful death from eating plastics hidden in the seagrass. She wanted to find the value in plastics, based on the principle that if something has ‘value’ - it no longer become ‘rubbish’. By providing islands and remote communities with a simple machine that can remould the plastics into practical and useful items, providing income. Also she runs Plastic Neutral workshops on educating people how to reduce single-use plastics.
Living in the small coastal village of Woolgoolga, Nth NSW (Aust.) Louise developed a mobile recycling machine and an educational program focused on the chemistry of plastics and how to transform waste into valuable items. She started running workshops in how to transform plastic waste and ‘Know your Plastics’ seminars, as she developed the Plastic Collective business.
Plastic waste is becoming an epidemic worldwide, with 370 million people on 4000 islands in the Asia Pacific region lacking safe waste management. As such, this equates to 11 million tonnes of plastic entering polluting the environment and seas. Alarming! Nobody likes feeling dis-empowered, but people are when it comes to marine debris and plastic pollution.
Plastic Collective’s solution is based on 3 fundamental pillars. Empower people with knowledge, Innovate new designs and materials, and Create with practical and reliable tools and machinery, such as the Shruder machine. The Shruder program (machinery & training) provides communities an end-to-end plastic recycling solution to produce valuable recycled plastic output in the form of shredded raw material, filament/ cord and moulded products. The mobility of the Shruder allows the plastic recycling machines to be taken to the waste, eliminating the restrictive cost of transporting plastic waste in remote areas and islands.
After winning the Startup Coffs Coast pitch competition (June, ‘17), Louise went on to start presenting her machinery and program, which quickly attracted attention as a practical solution. In Nov ‘17 she came 7th at the Australia StartCon pitch competition, 1st female and 1st Hardware solution. In Dec, she flew to Vanuatu to demonstrate the Shruder for 2 weeks at the Pacific Mini Games.
Plastic Collective also launched the Plastic Neutral Certification for businesses or corporations, where they can offset the amount of plastic they use through direct sponsorship of a Shruder program. This allows businesses to contribute positively to sustainability and social responsibility. The first corporation joined in Nov, to fund a remote community in need of the program.
Plastic Collective goal is to deliver the Shruder program to the 4000 remote and isolated communities, where waste collection is mostly non-existent, and transform the plastic waste economy.