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Filamentive launches UK’s first 3D print waste recycling scheme

Aiming to address the issue of plastic waste in the industry, starting with PLA

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In an ambitious move to tackle the environmental challenges posed by 3D printed plastic waste, Filamentive, a UK-based 3D printing company, has launched its free PLA 3D printing waste recycling scheme. This initiative seeks to address the critical issue of plastic waste in the 3D printing industry, with research indicating that up to 33% of 3D prints end up as waste – amounting to an estimated 400,000 kg of plastic waste annually in the UK alone from filament-based 3D printing, according to the company

Whilst waste generation is inherent in the 3D printing process, the industry’s waste management problem is further exacerbated by the fact that, according to Filamentive, 70% of 3D printer operators do not recycle their waste – identifying primary barriers as a lack of recycling options and prohibitive costs.

Filamentive’s new recycling scheme aims to overcome the barriers to PLA waste recycling by offering its customers free access to PLA waste recycling via its UK partner, 3D Printing Waste (3DPW), subject to their stipulated minimum spend on filament products. Once the recycling box is returned, 3DPW handles the entire waste management process – ensuring 100% landfill diversion via methods such as recycling and upcycling into new products.

“Most 3D printing waste is not recycled; we need to change that. Although there are existing solutions for 3D printing waste in the UK, what sets our scheme apart is our commitment to offering our valued customers cost-free recycling and a tangible method of landfill diversion for their PLA 3D printing waste. Yes, there’s a price to recycling this waste, but we see it as an investment to further enable sustainable 3D printing, rather than a cost – planet before profit,” said Ravi Toor, Managing Director of Filamentive.

Whilst exclusively for PLA waste only – for now – Filamentive aims to enable the recycling of other 3D printing polymers in time. Through the initiative, the company aims to recycle one tonne of 3D printing waste within 12 months of the scheme being live.

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