Nedlands resident creates GreenBatch to help students recycle plastic bottles

Darren Lomman is crushing the norm by creating WA's first plastic reprocessing plant in Shenton Park, he will be turning PET plastic bottles into 3D printing filament for schools to build and create with. Picture: Matt Jelonek www.communitypix.com.au   d481133
Darren Lomman is crushing the norm by creating WA's first plastic reprocessing plant in Shenton Park, he will be turning PET plastic bottles into 3D printing filament for schools to build and create with. Picture: Matt Jelonek www.communitypix.com.au d481133

ONE sentence stopped Nedlands resident Darren Lomman in his tracks: “By 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.”

The data came from a report presented to the World Economic Forum in 2016.

“When I heard it, I thought it couldn’t be true,” Mr Lomman said.

“I’ve got a two-year-old daughter; this isn’t the world I want to leave behind.”

It sparked Mr Lomman into action.

He started researching what we do about plastic recycling.

“I followed a recycling truck, and met with the plant’s chief executive to see the products that came out of recycling,” he said.

“They couldn’t say who was making the products, and the only local contract was for glass.”

From there, GreenBatch was born.

“Students can collect plastic bottles, and we’ll return 3D printing filament to them,” he said.

The WA-first plastic reprocessing plant will be based in Shenton Park, turning plastic PET bottles into printing filament for schools to build and create with.

It was the perfect project for Mr Lomman, who was looking for something new to jump into after Dreamfit.

He had founded his last enterprise as a third-year engineering student, aiming to make dreams possible for people with disabilities through innovative equipment solutions.

The plant will be able to process 300kg of plastic an hour, with Mr Lomman hoping to have the first stage complete in six months time.

He said the container deposit scheme will be a big part of how GreenBatch operates, with the scheme set to start in 2019.

“3D printing filament usually costs $35; if schools recycle 350 bottles, it will be 10c a bottle to make up the roll,” he said.

Eight schools, including Presbyterian Ladies College, have come on board so far.

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