It’s been three months since we founded Plastic Up-Cycling. We’ve identified three processes for upcycling and initiated three projects:
- Plastic Roads (better roads with part of the bitumen replaced with plastic that does not leach into the environment)
- Plastic-to-Fuel (open source equipment and processes for end-of-life plastic)
- Precious Plastic (also open source using room-sized equipment to manufacture floor tiles, flower pots and the like)
We’ve also created a website at https://plasticupcycling.org and a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/plasticupcycling/. We’ve acquired a 501(c)(3) nonprofit sponsor so we can submit grant requests. And finally, we’ve submitted a materials management grant request to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to pay for required independent laboratory testing of plastic products to be included in our Plastic Roads project.
We’re Writing Additional Grant Requests
We’ve applied for two other grants:
- One is from the Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas. MCFA promotes environmental causes throughout the Americas. One of its aims is to support “sustainable development” projects such as Plastic Roads.
- The other is a Marine Debris Prevention Grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA requires a Letter of Intent, which must be evaluated before a full proposal can be submitted. If our Plastic Roads project seems viable (almost a foregone conclusion since these roads are now successful in 12 countries), and if it aligns with NOAA’s priorities, we will be invited to submit the proposal.
Deadlines and grant award dates:
- DEQ materials management grant awards will be announced on Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. The documentation included the word “estimated” next to this date, so we won’t get too nervious on Dec 14.
- The sustainable development grant has no deadline. We’ll just be waiting to find out what our status is whenever Mitsubishi decides to tell us.
- On February 7, 2020, the full marine debris prevention grant request must be received by NOAA. We will be waiting to find out when, and if, we are invited to submit the proposal, and if we are, when awards will be announced.
We Won’t be the First
We had hoped to be in the forefront of plastic road building in the United States. However, we’re at the making-it-possible stage — and will be stuck at this stage until we get funding to pay for required independent laboratory testing and until the Oregon Department of Transportation receives successful test results and updates state standards for recycled materials that can be included in roads.
Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, a plastic road is being built at West 1st Street and Grand Ave. This is a heavily travelled downtown area right next to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Here’s a map:
The vendor for West 1st Street and Grand Ave, Los Angeles, is Technisoil, which specializes in very large road projects.
Funding is and will be a priority until we get enough money to proceed with our Plastic Roads project. Toward that end, we are soliciting donations and beginning crowdfunding. For more information about these efforts, please go to our website at https://plasticupcycling.org.
Our two other projects are temporarily on hold. The Plastic-to-Fuel project will proceed when the University of Oregon has completed testing equipment. The Precious Plastic project can move forward as soon as we have time for this. If you’d like to help with Precious Plastic, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. We could sure use the help.