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Recycling: from lab plastic to a Bluetooth speaker

As part of the initiative to recycle laboratory plastic waste taking place at The European Institute for Marine Studies (IUEM), thanks to the Interreg project Preventing Plastic Pollution, two events open to all IUEM staff were organised on Wednesday 22 June. They were an opportunity to discover the UBO Open Factory, where laboratory plastics are crushed down and recycled.

In the morning, eleven IUEM staff members met at the UBO Open Factory to discover the Fablab. Director Yves Quéré presented all the activities of the UBO Open Factory such as the Maquettelab, the Oceanlab and the Handilab. As well as discovering the machines and work spaces, the discussions focused on the notions of collective intelligence, cooperation and commitment within a project. Particular emphasis was placed on the recycling process of laboratory plastics with a demonstration of the injection of plastics into moulds made in the Fablab using 3D printing.

In the afternoon, a workshop with eight children of IUEM staff, aged 10 to 14, worked together to build a custom Bluetooth speaker, designed from wood scraps and plastic waste from the institutes’ laboratories.

Accompanied by fablab managers Tomo Murovec and Adamou Amadou Souley, the children customised their speakers on Inkscape, discovered laser engraving and assembled the wooden and recycled plastic parts. These different steps allowed everyone to make their own speaker from waste materials, now transformed into a real creative resource!


Photo credit: Mallorie Bodériou / CNRS

Article first published on the website of The European Institute for Marine Studies (IUEM) & translated for Preventing Plastic Pollution by The Rivers Trust