- 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.
- 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.