What makes this solution so ideal is that it’s easy and cost-effective enough to do at home, at least according to a study done by Joshua Pearce at Michigan Technological University. All this technique requires is clean milk jugs that are run through a standard office shredder. Then a RecycleBot, which you can purchase for under $300, converts the shredded plastic into 3D printer filament. Put the filament in your printer, and you’re ready to start printing small statues of Darth Vader, or whatever it is one does with a 3D printer.
The first benefit of recycling your milk jugs at home is how much money it can save you. Just by printing your own filament, you’ll save 99 cents on the dollar, even factoring in the cost of the RecycleBot. The standard cost of filament can run up to $50 per kilogram, but making it yourself only costs about 10 cents per kilogram. That’s a massive savings.
The other big benefit is that you’ll be saving the environment. When you send your milk jugs to the recycling center, it takes three percent more energy to get them there than if you recycled them at home. If you live in a smaller city or rural area, even more energy is used, due to increased transportation costs. In that case, you’ll save 70 to 80 percent more energy by recycling the jugs at home. If that isn’t impressive enough, recycling jugs at home uses 90 percent less energy than making brand new plastic.