From chaos to creation: How composites transform unsorted plastic waste into useful products

Starting with a simple sign post, Australian entrepreneur Geoff Germon hopes to help Fijians create a successful business

Exclusively for K-Mag

Image: Plastic pole; Copyright: Talon Technology

This pole, made from unsorted, mixed plastic waste and wrapped in fiber impregnated with used plastic bags, has been installed at the CATD campus in Fiji. “Solesolevaki” means working together for the common good. Copyright: Talon Technology


Image: Geoff Germon; Copyright: Talon Technology

Geoff Germon is a carbon fiber composites expert, a plastics waste entrepreneur and a design professor. Copyright: Talon Technology

Image: Pole cross section; Copyright: Talon Technology

This cut section of the 60 mm-diameter street pole shows the unsorted waste core and multiple layers of woven hemp fabric that has been impregnated with LDPE from used bags. Each pole measures 3.2 meters long and contains some 7 kg of waste plastic. Talon Technology

Image: Window louvres; Copyright: Talon Technology

CAD rendering of a plantation shutter made from waste fiber and plastic bags with a core in the edges. Most Fijian villages don't have glass in the windows so this would be made for the village from the plastic that floats up on the beach. Copyright: Talon Technology

Image: Frisbee; Copyright: Talon Technology

Fijian kid with a frisbee made from recycled plastic bags and fabric, the top decorative layer is virgin fabric. Given how poor some are in Fiji, this might be the only toy this child has. Copyright: Talon Technology

Image: Dog bowl; Copyright: Talon Technology

Made from unsorted plastic waste, this dog bowl is then skinned with a recycled, LDPE-impregnated hessian fabric. It weighs about 800 grams so the dog can't push it around. Copyright: Talon Technology

Robert Grace

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