Greenbatch reveals where your plastic waste really goes

Published on 28 February 2019

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Greenbatch won the 2018 Grand Final. Apply now for a 2019 community grant.

Perth engineer and founder of Greenbatch Foundation, Darren Lomman has won $30,000 in grants from Sunsuper’s Dreams for a Better World Grand Final to repurpose plastic bottles and get an additional 300 schools into recycling.

Sunsuper’s Dreams for a Better World grants support not-for-profits like Greenbatch that drive positive social change to improve Australian communities.

Greenbatch Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation that has developed Western Australia’s first plastic bottle reprocessing plant.

After previously winning round one and $10,000 in grants from Sunsuper’s program in April last year, Greenbatch has worked with 100 schools and recycled thousands of bottles.

Greenbatch will purchase 300 collection containers with the additional $30,000 grant, which will rapidly expand the recycling program to involve more than 300,000 students.

Darren Lomman’s dream is to educate Australians about where their waste goes and curb the massive impact plastic bottles have on the environment.

“I was horrified to learn that by 2050 it’s predicted there would be more plastic in our oceans than fish.”

“This is just not ok. And when I learnt that Western Australia was shipping its waste overseas, to places like China, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand, I had to do something," Darren said.

“Unless we magically stop using plastic all together, we need a solution to do something meaningful with the plastic that is being produced daily.

“My dream was to establish a reprocessing plant that will handle PET plastic and turn the plastic bottles into products such as the filament that goes into 3D printers.

In 2017 Darren started researching, by early 2018 Greenbatch had 20 schools and community groups collecting plastic bottles and by end of 2018, had more than 200 schools and community groups on the waiting list to participate in the recycling program. In early 2019 Greenbatch turned its reprocessing machine on, shredded thousands of plastic bottles and started making 3D printer filament on its new extrusion line.

“As an engineer I know plastic can be used over and over. And with a growing trend for companies from all industries using 3D printers, there-in-lay our opportunity to turn plastic drinking bottles into a new plastic product.

“We started a not-for-profit because I wanted to create a circular economy, where-by profits could be invested back into the program and the community.

“Next in the pipeline is scaling the venture through commercial investment to enable enough throughput capacity that we are able to reprocess all of WA’s recovered PET.”

If your school or community group wants to recycle plastic bottles contact Greenbatch.

Sunsuper’s Dreams for a Better World program offers a share of $150,000 in grants each year to not-for-profit organisations and small businesses to improve their local community.

Do you have a dream for a better world?

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