Precious Plastic York

by St Nicks in York, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 21st December 2020 we successfully raised £7,855 ( + est. £831.75 Gift Aid ) with 156 supporters in 28 days

A community space inspiring change; giving people the experience and tools they need to continue to rethink waste.

by St Nicks in York, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

£10,000 will enable us to run free sessions for marginalised groups. It will also mean we can start investing in extra machinery and training other community groups.


We are Precious Plastic York and we want to kickstart the plastic revolution in York. We are raising £5000 for our own machinery so that we can recycle our own plastics, we want to inspire the shift from a linear to circular economy,  transforming plastic waste to locally produced sustainable designs - anything from coasters to building bricks! M&S will be match funding your donations!

We want Precious Plastic York to be a community space inspiring change; giving people the experience and tools they need to continue to rethink waste.

Who are we?

We are the St Nicks Recycling Team. We collect residential and business recycling An image of our two electric vehicles, Doris and Edith and one of our load bearing tricycles.from premises all over York. We collect over 35 tonnes of recycling a month on load bearing tricycles and fully electric vehicles. So we have the hands on experience (and access to plenty of materials!) to make this project happen, along with our colleagues and other partners.  Each of us is passionate about waste minimisation, the environment and what we can do to make the world a little bit better.

1605611543_team.jpg

St Nicks have always been hands on with waste. Our 24 acre local nature reserve is actually on a former landfill site. St Nicks is the green heart of York; a centre for nature and green living, with an ambitious vision for York.  St Nicks nature reserve is home to over 1,000 species and appeals to a wide range of explorers from regular dog walkers and nature lovers, to keen amateur wildlife photographers and bird spotters.

1605875229_kingfisher_bylewisouting_img_0483a.jpgThe centre itself is a visitor attraction offering educational and hands-on guidance around recycling, eco-friendly practises and carbon-neutral living. St Nicks runs a host of activities supporting personal wellbeing and courses about carbon neutral lifestyles and life on the reserve including natural management; scything and hedge laying.

The problem

Have you ever noticed the litter that is piling up in your local river or stream?  

1605611880_duck_plastic.jpgIf you’ve ever walked down the beautiful Yorkshire coastline, you’ve probably been disgusted by all the litter washed up on the beach.  But where does it come from?  It’s likely that some of this has come from the sea, but most of what you’ll see has actually been washed down from our rivers.

Is there one place to blame?  Absolutely not.  Beach litter doesn’t start at the 1605611895_bird_plastic.jpgbeach at all.  In Yorkshire’s case, it’s easy to blame Hull, close to the coast with the river Humber feeding out into the North Sea.  But while certainly, some litter originates there, the problem actually begins much earlier.  The Humber is formed by the river Trent, which starts life in Staffordshire, and York’s own river Ouse.  Problem solved – York’s to blame for the littered beaches.

Most plastics are used for mere minutes but will last in our ecosystems for hundreds, sometimes thousands of years. Not only are animals physically consuming and getting entangled in plastics the plastics can release harmful compounds such as hormone disruptors and carcinogens. These chemicals, and the physical microplastics then get passed up the food chain (termed bioaccumulation) meaning the top predators such as whales are accumulating the highest levels of contaminants. Unfortunately it's been found that humans are eating plastic too. Microplastics have been found in seafood, salt and water!

Only 2% of packaging becomes new packaging, 8% is downgraded into lower quality materials and the rest is either sent to landfill or incinerated and then sent to landfill! Now we think plastic can be an amazing material - without it many of the things we take for granted today wouldn't be possible (sterile surgical appliances anyone?).

The solution: Precious Plastic York

We will work with an engineering firm to design and build plastic recycling machinery based on the open source designs available from Precious Plastic. Precious Plastic is a global initiative helping local people solve local problems. We believe that if people can get hands on and understand the processes involved they might rethink their opinions on waste and see it as the resource we know it is.

Our plans

We hope to raise enough money to build a plastic shredder, an extruder and a https://preciousplastic.com/images/keychains.jpg plastic injector. This will enable us to make brand new products out of the plastic we are recycling, which in turn can still be recycled at the end of their life. We hope to inspire and educate people to see that a circular economy - where nothing gets thrown away, everything can be reused and repurposed - is better than our current systems. In an ideal world this will kickstart momentum towards zero waste in York, as people see for themselves that the processes don't stop once you've thrown an item in your bin.

1605798973_f09e5c67-e6b1-463e-a008-a0945e0fa6ed_tyxd-jh.jpgWe hope to get the public, school and children's groups involved on site, through hands on workshops and education sessions. We will also be inviting designers, innovators, universities and engineers to come and play with our machinery to fully explore all the possibilities. The sky’s the limit: jewellery, tree guards, planters, ethical trophies, tiles, bird feeders, beams and bricks for building use are some examples of items we expect to be able to make.

Products we design and make will be sold to invest in new machinery and to subsidise the cost of the workshops keeping them accessible for all.

Close the loop!

1606119143_closetheloopstnicks.pngWe'll be diverting materials that often have a short usage life or are single use from incineration or landfill. We will create long lasting, sustainable items reducing the reliance on these products making sure at the end of their life they are still fully recyclable; closing the loop.

How will this help?

Recycling is great but there are better waste reduction solutions. This project has at least five waste reduction aims:

  • 1 to reuse plastic, saving it from a long journey to be recycled into usually poor quality/disposable products. 
  • 2 to encourage people to rethink their relationship to waste and change their behaviour through engagement in our sessions and/or involvement in the 1605874931_picture1.pngPrecious Plastics community.
  • 3 to use design principles to create sustainable long-lasting products that can be made into something new by us at the end of their (long) life cycle, modelling circular economy principles
  • 4 where possible, for our products to help reduce landfill through their very function, e.g. reusable food containers.
  • 5 through engagement with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths) students and professionals, providing a real life “test bed” for a wide range of people to learn about and come up with practical and creative solutions for waste reduction.

Who is involved? 

We are working with the Biorenewable Development Centre to ensure all 1605799106_1605799107790.pngprocesses involved are 100% safe, this will also reinforce our ability to educate the public about material sciences for instance, why some plastics can be recycled and other seemingly similar materials cannot.

1605612262_bishy_weigh.jpgThe Bishy Weigh have also backed our project offering to stock products that promote zero waste in York.

1605612214_treligan_logo_favicon.pngTreligan are supporting our project, as an organisation who pride themselves on focusing on the "worst problem first" - we are so excited to be able to work with them on the plastic problem.

How the funding works
The £40,000 match-funding will be split into two funding pots. £15,000 will be ring-fenced to ensure all 15 shortlisted projects receive £1,000 match-funding, subject to hitting milestone one. The remaining £25,000 match-funding will be available on a first come, first served basis to the 15 shortlisted projects subject to hitting milestones two and three outlined below.

Milestone one - Raise £1,000, receive a £1,000 match funding pledge from M&S Energy.

Milestone two - Raise a further £1,500, receive a £1,500 match funding pledge from M&S Energy.

Milestone three - Raise a further £2,500, receive the final £2,500 match funding pledge from M&S Energy.

You must first receive at least 30 unique supporters via your Crowdfunder campaign before you can access the first £1,000 match-funding pledge.


Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation

£15 or more

2 of 100 claimed

Join our Tansy Trail

You'll get an activity sheet explaining how to make/draw your own tansy beetle. Our lovely vehicle Edith along with our 6ft tansy beetle will come and see your masterpiece, at your home or the local park - you tell us where you want us to stop by. For a visit you must be within 2 miles of St Nicks. We don't have to visit if you don't like, we will share a photo of your tansy on social media and it will feature on your personalised certificate.

£3 or more

Precious Plastic York Champion

Receive regular Precious Plastic York enews and keep up to date with our Precious Plastic campaign and workshops.

£5 or more

PP York Champion & Digital Certificate

You'll get our regular updates and a digital certificate - pat yourself on the back for making a difference!

£10 or more

11 of 50 claimed

Patches

You'll get the enews, you'll get the digital certificate and you'll also get our lovely Precious Plastic York logo as an iron on patch. Show your support for our project with pride - use it to upcycle a T-shirt or tote bag or anything else ironable! Get creative and tag us in your upcycling projects using them, we'd love to see. #PreciousPlasticYork

£10 or more

25 of 45 claimed

Precious Plastic York Coaster

You'll get the enews, you'll get the digital certificate and you'll also get a completely unique Precious Plastic York coaster! Send someone one as a Christmas present, whether you keep it or gift it you are making a difference and saving plastic film from going to waste!

£25 or more

3 of 10 claimed

£20 Reward FAQ with the Recycling Team

Get our enews, and a digital certificate and we'll invite you to a webinar with two members of our recycling team. They'll cover the frequently asked waste and recycling questions and you can ask your own questions. The session will be held on Thurday 7th January time TBC

£75 or more

2 of 10 claimed

Family Activity Session

Treat your family or friends to an activity session at our Nature Reserve, you'll learn about the flora and fauna on site as well upcycling. You'll build dens, roast marshmallows, build a bug hotel or two and get an exclusive behind the scenes tour our PPY project... Limited to 6 people a session, and you must be able to travel to our reserve in York, sessions will last 90 minutes and we will follow any relevant covid guidance.

£100 or more

Precious Plastic York Hero

Join our hall of fame! We will display an appropriate photo of your choice on our hall of fame which will be accessible 24/7 on our 24 acre nature reserve. This could be a picture of you, your family, your business logo even your pet, we don't mind (as long as it's not offensive!). You'll also get our enews and a digital supporter's certificate.

£120 or more

The full works, small businesses

Our recycling team will carry out a waste audit on your business of up to 15 staff giving you a full report with specific recommendations to minimise your waste and save your business money. Businesses must be within 10 miles of St Nicks. Audit will be held at a mutually convenient time - when staff are back working within the premises. You will also get our digital certificate and enews.

£250 or more

The full works, medium businesses

Our recycling team will carry out a waste audit on your business of up to 30 staff giving you a full report with specific recommendations to minimise your waste and save your business money. Businesses must be within 10 miles of St Nicks. Audit will be held at a mutually convenient time - when staff are back working within the premises. You will also get our digital certificate and enews.

£350 or more

The full works, large businesses

Our recycling team will carry out a waste audit on your business of up to 80 staff giving you a full report with specific recommendations to minimise your waste and save your business money. Businesses must be within 10 miles of St Nicks. Audit will be held at a mutually convenient time - when staff are back working within the premises. You will also get our digital certificate and enews.

£500 or more

1 of 6 claimed

Your name on our machines

Want your name in lights or your business branding on the side of the machine? Well now is your chance! Once the machine designs are finalised we will work with you to make sure you are happy with the size and location of the branding and that's it. You'll be immortalised forever on our recycling machines. We will be working with children and the public so the name and any branding will have to be suitable for all audiences.

£10 or more

5 of 5 claimed

PP York Coaster

You'll get the enews, you'll get the digital certificate and you'll also get a completely unique Precious Plastic York coaster! Send someone one as a Christmas present, whether you keep it or gift it you are making a difference and saving plastic film from going to waste!

£20 or more

10 of 10 claimed

Treasures of St Nicks

As well as the digital certificate and our enews you will be invited on a special limited nature trail around St Nicks as soon as we are able to run them safely. It will be a socially distanced session at St Nicks in York 2021.

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