Can recycled 3D printing filament lead to a successful social venture?

Last week, our World Bank partners published a blog post about the feasibility of creating recycled filament as a business. The article states:

"As part of the ReFabDar initiative, Tech4Trade, STIClab, and other partners developed a low-cost, custom-extruder to produce filament from recycled PET plastic. Based on the principles of open collaboration and standards, the designs of the extruder are available on an open source license at Wevolver. This now opens up new market opportunities for emerging economies for local filament production and at a lower cost."

We believe that there is great potential for this technology and recycled filament as we celebrate the success of ReFlow Filament's Kickstarter campaign and continue forward transitioning from prototype to production.

The creation of filament from plastic is a leap forward for the future of recycling in East Africa. Thie filament created will be both exported and used locally to produce products. The emphasis is on products that add value to the nascent 3D printing ecosystem terms of employment for waste pickers and youth, as well as, tackling some of the most pressing development challenges in food security and maternal health.