We got to meet the guys behind Perpetual Plastic project at the workshop in may, and were so fascinated by their idea that we managed to invite them for the researchers night that took place at the beginning of october.
The Researchers night in Triest is held in Piazza Unità, the big square right in front of the sea and it certainly is a nice background. Our friends arrived the day before, so we could unpack and set up everything wth some ease. While Enrique and Carlo assembled the 3d objects on display and the sign, the guys could set up their factory.
Having moved the setup many times they are very organized, and manage to assemble a fully functional factory in a short time, screwing the metal shelves together and adding the various elements needed to clean, shred, extrude and finally print the plastic.
In the mean while Ilaria was helping out trying the coffe machines. Usually the plastic factory “works” recycling soda and beer cups made of PLA, but we had the occasion to collaborate with Illy Caffè, the famous coffee roasting company located in Triest, and needed cups suitable for hot beverages. So we discussed with Gaspard in Holland and they tested the PS coffe cups with success. Illy kindly offered us the coffee cups and obviously something to put inside of them
During the morning we had various schools that booked their visit with us, but the factory was so fascinating that in the end all the school kids visiting the other stands stopped by to crank the shredder or see the coffe cups bouncing around while drying.
The idea behind the perpetual plastic project factory is simple and clever: you take your dirty cup and see it get recycled.
The step 0 in our setup was offering and drinking the coffee (again thanks to Illy and to Laura and Diana that served roughly 700 coffee cups in 1 day smiling continuously!)
Then the cups were washed in the small sink and dried with air blasts.
When the cups are dry they are retrieved from the plastic enclosure and shredded with a hand crank. This is where the kinds were enjoying themselves, shredding things has a certain appeal I have to admit.
The small pieces of plastic are then sifted and can be extruded.
Again a cranck is used to activate the filament extruder, so kinds can participate.
The pieces of filament are fed to the 3D printers, to produce nice rings to take home.
It was a huge success, and attracted a wide audience that appreciated very much the 3d objects on display and the explanations given by various ICTP scientists that partecipated.
To recap everything, here is a video of the event edited by Enrique Canessa