Caring for the natural environment has ceased to be a fad or temporary fashion, becoming the responsibility of us all. More and more companies are trying to base on the principles of sustainable development so that their activities bring benefits not only to them, but also to the natural environment. Another 6 days on is the Gravity Wave campaign, which is collecting funding for a 3D printing project of a plastic phone case from the seas and oceans.

The Gravity Wave team consists of young people who pay attention to the problem of excessive production of plastics, which significantly exceeds the possibilities of their recycling or reuse. Earlier, the company dealt with plastic accessories for phones, but they quickly realized how overproduction of plastics affects the condition of the natural environment. At that time, they decided to change their business profile dramatically.

On their campaign website, we read that only 9% of plastics produced are recycled. At the same time, as much as 79% of the plastic used goes to landfills or the oceans. The data is appalling. Every year, eight million tons of plastic lands in the oceans and seas, which has a disastrous effect on the ecosystem of the largest water bodies on Earth (leading, among others, to the extinction of marine species).

The goal of Gravity Wave is noble. They want to clean the Mediterranean basin from plastic and give the collected rubbish a “second life” by producing a phone case. The purchase of one smartphone case covers the costs of extracting and processing three kilograms of extracted plastic garbage.

How does it look in practice? Gravity Wave cooperates with a company specializing in so-called “Sustainable fisheries”, in which fishermen catch not only fish but also plastic waste. There are already more than 130 boats (called #plasticfishers) operating in Grace, which have already collected 50 tons of marine waste. However, this is only the beginning – in 2020 Gravity Wave wants to expand the scope of its activities by entering into cooperation with companies from Italy and Spain.

What happens next with the collected waste? After segregation, the plastic is recycled at the Allicante factory – the granulate formed from it can be reused in the production process. The next steps are carried out by the project partner, Crazy & Things, which uses granules to form a filament, from which 3D phone cases are printed. So far, several prototypes have been made that prove that the material can be successfully used for additive production.

The creators envisage three variants of themes – classic, with the slogan “Plastic free Oceans” and a motif of fishing net. As the creators write, the development of the project depends on the success of the campaign. If interest is high, it may be necessary to move away from 3D printing technology and start production through injection molding.

A phone case can be obtained by supporting the campaign with an amount higher than $ 20. The developers predict versions that will fit almost all iPhone models and the latest versions of Samsung smartphones. Less than a week remained to the end of the campaign, and 36% of the assumed sum has been collected so far.


Magdalena Przychodniak
Editor-in-Chief of the 3D Printing Center. A biomedical engineer following the latest reports on bioprinting and 3D printing in modern medicine.

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