Plymouth University Design Challenge

In March 2023 Precious Plastics was involved in one of the modules for the Undergrad Design students from Plymouth University. 

As part of this module the students had all been invited to come to the Plot on Union street to see our machines in action. This was done so they had a better understanding of our process and it also gave them an opportunity to look at what we do through the lens of a budding designer, come up with innovative ideas and solutions whilst working on a real life project in the community. 

The students very much enjoyed their visit to the Plot, joining in shredding our plastic and inject it into our molds. The hands-on experience was meant to encourage them in their creative thinking and a few weeks later we joined them for their prresentations at the University of Plymouth. All of the groups had done well in their observations and the results were very diverse. Five of the projects stood out for us 

The first one was the Bottle topper Dropper

An Interesting concept to create an experience around the collection of bottle tops

The group had designed a pinball like board that makes collecting and delivering the milk bottle tops to us a fun experience. They designed it to be part of our window display and members of the community can drop their bottle tops in it and watch them fall down into the contraption.  We can see this apparatus play a role on the workshops to keep children entertained too.

The Second project we chose was the Cafe Donation Scheme

This group did very well in their ‘whole system thinking’ They created a very simple but effective and attractive looking box for cafe’s to use as their collection box for milk bottle tops.

The idea is that the box is visible to both staff and costumers, enhancing the sustainable image of the coffee shop and acing as a conversation starter with the customers.

We will run a pilot scheme at Drake circus in 10 places across the shopping centre where coffee is being sold. We will do this in preparation for our charity event at LUSH cosmetics in the middle of June. 

For the 3rd place we actually had two select two teams since they ended up having the same amount of points awarded. 

One group had observed that filling the injection molder was not the easiest. Especially since the shredded plastic from the paddle shredder still has fairly large pieces of plastic after shredding. To improve this process they came up with ‘The Scoper’ The scoper is a tool that fits the hopper of the injection molder and makes filling it easier. We liked how they had observed the making process and created this simple scoop to improve the way we can fill the hopper. 

The other team we would like to give 3rd place to was the team that created a frame for moving our injection molder. They observed the frame as it is is fairly unstable and hard to move around and transport. They came up with an easy to assemble frame that would make this process simpler. 

The last project we would like to give an honerable mention to is a project that came up with a product that could be created with our injection molder. 

This team came up with ‘The Bio Hive’. A modular design for a bee-hive. They looked into what they could make with HDPE and even looked at what attract bees/insects to live in a shelter. They did some research into safety of HDPE for bees/insects and came up with an attractive looking shape that is fairly easy to produce using an injection molder. 

We would like to thank all the Design students of Plymouth University that took part in this challenge for their efforts.

If you have an interesting idea for a project, please do get in touch, we would love to hear from you!