PCGS Students Conduct Plastic Waste Recycling Project

PCGS students have been exploring the usability of technologies such as 3D printing, robotics, and pyrolysis to recycle plastic waste. Conducted under the supervision of Dr. TH Culhane, their primary starting point was plastic bottle caps usage for 3D printing. The bottle caps, which are made of one of two materials: recycle number 2 and recycle number 5, are shredded and shaped into 3D printing filaments. X-Carve inventible machines have been used to carve into flat sheets made up of melted bottle caps as well during this project.

According to Dr. TH Culhane, it has been a beneficial research project for the students to conduct. The project has sharpened the students’ critical thinking skills as well as giving them technical skills pertaining to their studies. Oluwatosin “Tosin” Folorunso, one of the student heads of the project, said this about her experience “It has been a challenging yet rewarding experience. Despite the sometimes laborious process that comes with sorting different plastic types for recycling, the recycled products gotten from them keeps me going. You never stop learning about new skills and innovative ideas.”

The research conducted has proven Folorunso’s hypothesis that “any form of waste is a potential resource if the right process and technology is applied.” The experience they’ve had has even motivated students to start a Precious Plastic community here on campus. This plastic project, along with others conducted by faculty-led teams, has served as a crucial part of the development of our students here at PCGS.