Using breakthrough technology, ARC-funded researchers at The University of New South Wales (UNSW) are recycling common waste plastics into plastic filaments that can be used to 3D print new green materials. Their research represents a remarkable step towards a sustainable future and opens up infinite possibilities for other potential products made from composite waste.

The technology is the result of research led by Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla, an ARC Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellow and Director of ARC’s Industrial Transformation Research Hub for Transforming Waste Directly in Cost-effective Green Manufacturing—a unique collaboration between researchers and industries that is transforming all types of waste into valuable resources.

The Research Hub has developed a custom-designed small-scale microfactory, that could be located almost anywhere, to transform waste into valuable resources. 

Replica ‘Gandhi glasses’ made at the microfactory were presented to the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, by Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, during an Australia-India Skills Conference held in India in April 2017.

New microfactory technology, which produces value-added green materials and products made from 100 per cent waste materials, offers new opportunities to generate income from waste and to create local jobs, while delivering local and global environmental benefits.

Image: Professor Veena Sahajwalla, with 100% recycled plastic filament.
Image courtesy: UNSW Sydney.