Ocean Plastic Pots is Born
I had started to study process and recycling methods as well as manufacturing techniques for recycled plastic. Through various ideas and concepts, we settled on a plant pot design, made from a mould with low tolerance which could utilise waste plastic.
The manufacturing technique was progressed and developed through trial and error. Various moulds were made and techniques tried. Each failure was frustrating but treated as a learning curve and eventually progress was made.
Recycled plastic is generally shredded and more coarse once it’s returned to a granular form so it doesn’t work well with normal manufacturing techniques, particularly fine moulds with with high tolerance levels. It also loses some of its “workable” properties making it harder to manufacture with.
I worked with a machine specialist in Europe and a mould maker in South America to build a set of equipment which could shred waste plastic and then mould it into a plant pot efficiently and at an economic rate which was viable.
Early on we identified that we were more efficient if we concentrated on manufacturing. Letting the experts recycle the waste, whilst we aided collection. We partnered with a recycler of end of life rope and fishing net and started manufacturing plant pots with this, then added beach plastic collected during our own beach cleans into the mix to add random patterns and bits of colours through the pots. We wanted our pots to demonstrate that there made from a waste material not try to create a uniform colour. This is counter to pretty much what the rest of the plastics industry is trying to achieve.
Once the manufacturing process had been established, I set about adding the plastic that I had collected from the hold of the Kaami (a small blue ball) Into a mix of recycled with rope to make a Plant Pot with a distinctive blue and green pattern, and Ocean Plastic Pots was born.