On Saturday June 6, Bellingham Makerspace teamed up with the Western Washington University Polymer Materials Engineering program to host a workshop where participants got to create a notebook made out of recycled plastic.
So many of the plastics manufactured today go through the hands of consumers and then straight into the landfill for a variety of reasons. The students in the WWU Polymer Materials Engineering program seek to close this loop by creating new and useful products from post-consumer plastics. Their project involved researching different plastics and their utility, their recyclability, and which ones were plentiful on campus. The students collected the plastic, sorted and shredded it, then melted and pressed it into sheets that were then cut into notebook covers.
About 16 workshop participants assembled their own notebooks using the recycled plastic sheets, recycled paper and plastic rings, while learning about the process for sorting, shredding, melting and reforming plastics from the engineering students. The paper for the notebooks was made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper donated by the WWU Print and Copy Center.
The project was created by undergrad students Halka Inagaki, Emmaline Lenz, and Leia Kaminsky under their Professor Nicole Hoekstra. For more information about the WWU Polymer Materials program (which was recently voted one of the best programs in the nation!) go to https://engineeringdesign.wwu.edu/polymer-materials-engineering
To learn more about the idea of a Circular Plastics Economy, read this article from WWU’s Window magazine: https://window.wwu.edu/plastics-problem