Education is the best method to address plastic pollution. Most of the plastic waste that enters the environment, harms marine life, and infiltrates our water systems is done so unwillingly! We recognize that given the opportunity, proper perspective, and motivation people will choose correctly. We intend to inform our community on this wide spread and complex problem by encouraging citizens to rethink their plastic waste. We plan to do this in the following ways:
Background Information – To solve any problem, the parameters must be clearly defined. Unfortunately, for most Ohioans, thinking about plastic waste stops at the curbside bin. We aim to inspire everyone to think before tossing out their waste by providing information about the recycling process, the impacts of our current system, and easy methods to reduce everyday plastic waste. We hope that this also encourages green policies for municipalities and our state government.
Interactive Demos – To inspire others to rethink their plastic waste (in-line with the Precious Plastic goals), we host interactive demonstrations of plastic reduction and the recycling process. These demos encompass shredding plastic bottles and bags to create rope, bags, wallets, and other homemade products.
Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) – To create from the plastic waste we collect, we have partnered with the Department of Integrated Systems Engineering (ISE) to utilize machines designed for MRF capabilities. These include the machines created following the Precious Plastic designs in addition to industrial grade machines provided by ISE. We are currently working with our advisers on designing and machining various molds to create recycled products from our collected plastic. Ideally, we will create a facility that any student or community member can engage with to further our interactive demos.
Community Outreach – Any sustainable solution requires the input and support of the community. We have been working with several Ohio State campus initiatives such as Students for Recycling, Time For Change, The Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE), Fisher Cares and many others to come that help make this project a success. We have also engaged with many local non-profits and companies to foster community support, such as Green Columbus, Smart Columbus, GreenSpot, and Engie.