Plastic Lizard creates durable, beautiful home and garden goods out of Portland’s plastic trash. Things like bottle caps, food packaging, and old toys are shredded and melted into a new item, when they would otherwise go to the landfill or contaminate our waterways.
Creating recycled plastic products is a way to keep plastic out of rivers, lakes, and oceans, while inspiring PNW residents to think twice about our single-use lifestyle. Plastic Lizard invites people to question how can we become responsible for our own waste, and benefit our local community while doing it? If every neighborhood had a dedicated micro-recycler, could they transform all the plastic that would otherwise go to waste into durable goods of their own?
Plastic Lizard was born in a Portland garage, with the help of Precious Plastic’s designs, local builders, and thousands of contributors to open-source solutions aimed at stopping the tide of plastic pollution.
Community based microrecycling.
Plastic waste gets dropped off at Plastic Lizard’s workshop already clean of food and oils. The plastic is hand sorted by type, and labels are cut out or peeled off, and thrown away. The plastic is then sorted by color and fed into a shredder, where it is turned into small plastic flakes. The flakes are fed into an extruder, which heats and mixes the plastic and extrudes it out of a nozzle. The hot filament can then be hand wrapped around a form to make a pot, bowl, or dish. The plastic cools, and gets stamped with a heat gun and a brass coin to indicate the plastic type.
Plastic can also be extruded into a mold, like a steel tube, to make a solid shape. For example, dimensional lumber replacements like 1”x1” beams. Plastic lumber can be used in similar ways to wood.
When a Plastic Lizard item has reached the end of it’s life, it can be returned to the workshop where it was made to be shredded and recycled back into something new. We believe every business should be responsible for what it makes.