About the Project

Australia now produces 2.6 million tonnes of plastic waste each year, equating to 102 kg per person. Of this, only 13% of plastic is recovered and 84% is sent to landfill.

National Waste Report 2022

The Recycled Plastic Panels project is being led by Daniel Mee who just wanted to buy some recycled plastic panels to make a cupboard. But searching for them led him to find the Precious Plastic community, which led him to learn more about plastic recycling, which led him to learn that it's not that hard, which led him to experiment in his shed, which led him to meeting amazing people, which resulted in the Recycled Plastic Panels community project!

While the principle of recycling plastic is basic - heat it to the correct temperature so it melts ready to be formed into something new - making it a worthwhile activity is not. Circular economies require all parts of the circle to be working or it will collapse, as we saw with Redcycle. Our approach is to engage the community with hyper-local collection, cleaning, sorting, production and buying of recycled products. It's not going to solve the plastic problem - we still need large-scale industrial solutions to solve that 2.6 million tonne tsunami that hits Australia each year - but we are repairing the community's relationship with recycling plastic from forgettable trash to useful resource.

So what's the plan?

There are a few different types of people when it comes to recycling. There are the no-waste superstars: they put their landfill bin out once a year, make their clothes and don't buy anything in a packet. Then there's the waste-conscious: they have a multiple bin system under the kitchen sink, home compost their food scraps, shop at bulk food stores with empty passata jars and love Craig Reucassel. Many people, though, don't think about waste much: they're disengaged. Sure, they'll try to do the right thing but, at the end of the day, the only time they think about waste is when the landfill bin is full. People that chuck their takeaway meal containers out the car window.... don't even 😤.

There's actually a lot more waste-conscious people in a community than you think and they're super keen to help make sure that non-kerbside recyclable plastic waste is diverted. This group, along with no-waste superstars, help drive the recycling community and reengage those who didn't see a reason to care.

The RPP community plan.

The recycling community plan as a diagram. It shows the various arms of the model which are explained below.

Sorting Parties are held regularly at community centres and encourage everyone to hang out for a few hours to sort the plastic. They're catered and will often be combined with other complimentary activities/workshops.