Why the Ethical Filament Foundation?

Waste Pickers

  • 15 million waste pickers worldwide collect, sort and process recyclable materials in cities in developing nations.
  • Waste pickers make up some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities, living in dire poverty.
  • Waste management is one of the biggest challenges for an increasingly urbanised world.
  • Recycling is one of the cheapest and fastest ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Avoiding a ton of CO2 emissions through recycling costs 30% less than doing so through energy efficiency, and 90% less than using wind power.
  • Waste pickers’ efforts to expand and formalise operations should be supported. This will result in greater resource recovery, more productive work, better working conditions, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

3D filament

  • The market for 3D printer filament is growing rapidly. In fact…
  • At the consumer level alone, as much as 1.5 million kilos of filament could be sold per annum by the end of 2014.
  • The cost of a Kg of filament is anywhere between $25 and $40 USD.

The unifying idea

  • A unique offering with filament sourced directly from waste picker groups in developing countries.
  • Filament is produced ethically on a ‘fair trade’ basis, from recycled waste.
  • Enabling the waste pickers to receive more income from the waste they collect.

Announcing the launch of The Ethical Filament Foundation

A not for profit member-owned organisation that will:

  • Create and brand an ethical filament production standard and a certification process.
  • Advertise and market the Ethical Filament standard and certification process.
  • Promote the concept of recycling to produce ethical 3D printing filament that is sold to improve the livelihoods of waste pickers and their communities worldwide.
  • Sponsor research and development to improve the process for waste recycling at the grass roots level for use in 3D printing.
  • Release research to the public domain for use on an unrestricted basis by social benefit organisations.