Empowering communities to transform plastic waste
It is estimated that 8 million tonnes of plastic waste per year flow into the world's oceans and Plastic Collective is a social enterprise dedicated to solving this problem. Founder Louise Hardman has developed a mobile light weight recycling machine, The Shruder, which shreds and extrudes plastic waste. This machine is designed to be transported to communities suffering the impact of plastic pollution, regardless of how remote they are.
In 1992 as Marine Turtle project coordinator, Solitary Islands Reserve, Louise participated in the post mortem of a young green turtle which had consumed so much plastic that it had died. This was the beginning of her mission to preventing plastic entering the ocean. In her first year of setting up the Plastic Collective, Louise secured a Research and Development grant from NSW Department of Industries, then in June 2017, she won the Grand Prize in the Coffs Coast Start Up Innovation Awards for Plastic Collective.
Louise has developed a unique 6-step program to empower communities to create plastic waste materials into innovative and valuable resources. These items can be sold in their communities or on global networks, providing both income and resources to countries most in need. Specialised training in community waste management, environmental stewardship, chemistry of plastics, product development, machinery operations and maintenance is the core components of the program. Ongoing support is essential, as the Collective network of corporates, communities and consumers develop close new relationships.
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