Precious plastic is a small student-led social enterprise that aims to help the environment by upcycling waste plastic bottle caps to make jewellery and keychains. We have discovered that our local community and especially our beaches, are littered with waste materials, especially plastic bottles. These ultimately end up in the ocean and threaten marine life.
Previously, in a much larger team, our first endeavour towards waste management was helping to create a greenhouse. Not an ordinary greenhouse – one completely built off of discarded plastic bottles. A fully working greenhouse that we could use to teach the younger students about how to grow and care for fruit and vegetables.
From that experience, we realised that we didn’t need all of the plastic bottle caps. Some we made into a mural, others the Early years students used for Art. However, we thought about how we can use these bottle caps on a regular basis. Thinking carefully and researching patiently about what we could do to recycle them, we had an idea. An idea to start a social enterprise whereby we would use these plastic caps and collect other bottles by returning to clean our local beaches, saving the turtles and other wildlife in the process and run a school-wide collection drive to produce and sell recycled plastic items such as earrings, coasters and keychains.
The process is to melt the caps in a panini maker (ensuring the type of cap can be recycled), cut out the shapes we like, attach them to earring hooks, chains or keychains, and sell them. Then, we will use the profits to support causes that we, as a team, identify with or to educate people about plastic waste and our project.
Our goal is simple: To protect our environment and take the responsibility to safeguard it whilst raising awareness about the issue of plastic waste. We want to highlight how it is not just on a local scale but an international scale and we all, wherever we are, can help eliminate this pollutant.