First off I love Tested.com. I am addicted to watching maker videos on Youtube. I wish I could afford a good 3D printer. I really really want one, but lately the reports of horrific problems with plastic particles and plastic pollution in the ocean begs the question; is the current explosion of cheap 3D printers exaggerating and increasing this problem?
There's an awesome youtube channel and website https://preciousplastic.com which has been pushing this idea and actually seriously making it possible to cheaply build machines to recycle this stuff and even make your own 3D printer filaments by grinding, melting and extruding. Or making your own useful projects from molds using the plastic that is ALREADY in our trash cans. They even have memes to promote not printing useless junk. I've seen videos of makers who are trying to make their own or recycle plastic prints to make new filaments for 3D printing.
I am sure based on what I see on tested.com and all the hundreds/thousands of maker videos producing objects after multiple tests and failures, that there are bags and bags of plastic dumped into landfills from 3D printers. I've seen maker videos who casually show their "failed" projects without even commenting on where it ends up.
What is the thought on this? Shouldn't there be just as much technology expended to recycle the plastic used for 3D printing as there is to create more printers to make more junk?
I know people recycle their plastic, but that isn't always effective nor is it a national policy to have effective and efficient recycling. When you dump your failed prints are they marked by the type of plastic so it can be easily recycled? Does everyone even bother to try and recycle it?
Some states have better facility to recycle than others. It costs money and it's not always a priority. I actually heard once (a rumor that can't be trusted I know) that plastic pickup in my area in those "special barrels" doesn't even get recycled. That often it's cheaper to just dump it in landfills and the recycling barrels are "just for show" to make people "feel good". Can't verify this but it wouldn't surprise me.
I would VERY VERY MUCH like to see something on tested.com addressing this issue and possibly BUILDING A RECYCLING system. You guys here spend a TON on making stuff that is COOL AND AWESOME but I never see what you do with the wasted plastic.