Pedal-powered Shredder

Prof. Richard Thompson OBE FRS, International Marine Litter Research Unit sponsors our pedal powered shredder.

Prof. Richard Thompson, director of University of Plymouth’s Marine Institute celebrated for his discovery and work on micro-plastics has sponsored our pedal powered shredder. The pedal powered shredder is designed and engineered by Precious Plastics Plymouth & Tavistock’s own Oscar McNaughton, a graduate student on the MA Design course at University of Plymouth.

The pedal powered shredder means that we can break down the waste plastic bottle tops without the need of electricity, which takes us one step (or peddle!) closer to our goal of carbon neutrality. Brilliant added value to recycling and reducing the waste that ends up in the sea or landfill.

How did you design the pedal powered shredder, Oscar?

“The main focus when designing the shredder was simplicity and repeatability. The core of Precious Plastics after all is that anyone can do it. The plans for the ‘shredder box’, (the bit does the main bit of the shredding work), comes straight from Precious Plastic open source plans and can be made by anyone! It was then a case of adding sprockets and a chain connecting the shredder to a flywheel exercise bike which came from Facebook marketplace. 

The key to success in the bike shredder is momentum on the flywheel to keep the turning, and a big enough gear ratio – (small sprocket on the bike, BIG sprocket on the shredder!) – in order to grind through all that wonderful plastic waste!The bike shredder isn’t quite finished yet, but we’re working very hard to get it done. Once we are finished, the plans for making one yourself will be made publicly available complete with instructions to make one yourself.”

Prof. Richard Thompson OBE FRS shreds waste plastic using pedal power!