Plastic water and soda bottles create an enormous amount of waste every year even with all of the alternative options out there. One way to reduce this waste is with innovative upcycling programs that turn the otherwise environmentally harmful waste into something new, and now 3DSystems (3DS) has a new, creative way of doing that.
The Ekocycle 3D printer uses filament made from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. The printer itself looks and works much the same as other personal sized 3D printers, but uses filament cartridges known as rPET that contain material from 20 oz. PET plastic bottles.
The 3D objects created with the partly recycled filament will retain a similar flexibility and durability as traditional options, according to 3DS. From the start there will only be red, black, white and natural colors available, but reports suggest there is a good chance we will see others in the future.
The well known artist and music producer will.i.am is the chief creative officer at 3DS and has teamed up with Coca-Cola to launch the new Ekocycle printer. However, the eco friendly printer is just one part of Ekocycle's goal which is to "partner with the most influential brands around the world and use technology, art, style and inspiration to change an entire culture. We will make it cool to recycle, and we will make it cool to make products using recycled materials," as explained by will.i.am.
The Ekocycle 3D Printer has a suggested retail price of $1,199, and is expected to start shipping commercially "in the second half of 2014," according to 3DS.