Precious Plastic Collective

Current stage: Awarded


● Precious Plastics Plymouth

● Nudge Community Builders

● Plymouth Scrapstore


Briefly describe your project

Plastic is a precious material, however, in the UK we only recycle less than 10% of plastic. We want to change that. Precious Plastics endeavors to take on recycling on a local level. We already have 2 shredders and an injection-moulding machine but are looking to add a sheet press to our equipment. This will allow us to recycle more plastic and turn plastic waste into new valuable and versatile products; from sheet materials for construction to prototyping and material research. The project will bring the community together by being playful and educational, whilst learning about plastic and its properties.


Describe what you hope your Collective will achieve

Our vision is to make Precious Plastics Plymouth a household name in the city and raise awareness about plastic processing, making and recycling. By producing sheet material with the sheet press we will be able to provide Nudge Community Builders- and individuals around Plymouth- with building materials to create items like desks, tables and shelving but also material to create dividing walls for their buildings, like the newly acquired C103 Building on Union Street.

Plymouth has signed up to the ambitious plan to become a Fab city. ( This means that by 2054 everything that gets sold in Plymouth will need to be created in Plymouth. This plan requires businesses and individuals to change the way they think about production. There will be a need for more maker spaces and creative thinking around new ways of fabrication. We feel that our project will come instrumental in achieving some of the educational and technical elements of this change.

Working with the University of Plymouth and Nudge community builders we have already been able to reach a number of individuals and organisations. The response is overwhelmingly positive. Our base of operations is the Greenhouse at the Plot. The Greenhouse project at The Plot ( – a Makerspace) will act as an incubator for local people to develop a variety of skills ie CAD/CAM and mould-making for new products and other technical/maker skills that will benefit our project. The greenhouse has a strong link with the University of Plymouth, this will help in nourishing a network of savvy and curious individuals, that will benefit from the material experimentation and bring in new ideas and projects. Whilst maintaining a foothold within Union Street and the communities around Stonehouse.

Working together with Plymouth Scrapstore allows us to streamline our source material (Plastic) from various businesses and individuals in and around Plymouth. It will allow us to tap into their resources so we can buy large quantities of clean plastics of the same type (polypropylene and Polyethylene) that are suitable for our production process. We would be holding free events in collaboration with the Scrapstore which will help to encourage different users to visit and engage with them. It will also allow us to sell our products in their store so visitors/customers can see what can be done with waste plastic. We will encourage customers to come up with ideas for new products that they might want to create for their own gain. This can lead to them skilling up and getting involved in the project through activities at the Greenhouse at the Plot, creating a more resilient community in the process.


Describe how your Collective formed

These three entities, Precious Plastics, Nudge and Scrapstore have well-established connections with each other. The Scrapstore has provided space for Precious Plastics to hold some of its events and promote the process via demonstrations of the equipment. They also support us by providing the public with a place to bring their unwanted plastic waste. The added benefit of the Scrapstore collection point is that the plastic is clean and often uniform, this saves us time in sorting and washing. The Scrapstore also helped to bring Precious Plastics to Plymouth from Tavistock, so we have a vested interest in it expanding and growing .. saving more plastic from a short life and giving it the opportunity to be even more Precious! Since one of the directors of Precious Plastics also works with Nudge Community Builders in The Greenhouse at the Plot there are strong connections with the activities that happen there around upskilling and creating a resilient community. The production process of Precious plastics has many aspects that overlap with the skills offered in The greenhouse, Like Computer Assisted Drawing (CAD) and Computer Assisted Manufacturing (CAM) They also have equipment that is able to be used by Precious Plastics staff and or members. All these well-established links allow each of these partners to promote each other’s work and benefit from each other. A joined-up, linked way of thinking is very much needed to make this a success. I have been very transparent with Nudge and the Scrapstore about what we will use this funding money for. It is evident that in the short term this will have the most benefit for Precious Plastics. By holding free events and producing materials for both partners we will however all benefit from this injection of money to get our sheet press to become a reality.


Which collaboration “shape” do you expect will best describe your project?

HUB AND SPOKE – Like a bike wheel, one organisation holds things together at the centre, while other organisations perform specific tasks


In which areas would you expect most of your grant to be spent?

Equipment Upgrades