20 May 2021

Circular Future of Island School

With a mission to make Island School greener and more sustainable, the Circular IS team has continued to make advancements with processing recycled plastics and are also looking to increase their collection of plastics through a partnership with local charity, Plastic Free Seas.

Using the funds provided by the Island School Trust’s John Ying Wah Gibson Memorial Fund, the Circular IS team has been able to purchase a new industrial shredder to use to process the collected plastics. This is essential as the plastics must be shredded down before they can be melted and extruded into other objects. The new machine greatly increases their capacity – it is capable of shredding over 80kg of plastics per hour.

Furthermore, they have also been running experiments with creating plastic sheets using the shredded plastic. From the school heat press, they have been able to create 6mm PP (polypropylene) sheets which can then be processed into other products e.g. larger sheets can be used as table top surfaces or cut into various different shapes by the CNC machine. They are now looking at building a bigger mold for larger sheets and furthering the possibilities.

The team has also experimented with creating round-profile short beams, like the one shown in the photos below. These also have a number of practical applications, for example, acting as a lamp base.

Student leader, Melanie Hsieh 12N says: “With the vision of reshaping Island School into a more sustainable campus, I believe we are making huge steps forward and better.”

Kimberley Ng says: “It’s exciting to see the progress our team is making and hopefully when we successfully make the products, it can be shared with the whole community.”

Here are some photos showing the prototype beams.

Circular IS has also recently established a partnership with a local environmental charity, Plastic Free Seas. The team will be collecting any PP containers gathered by Plastic Free Seas from their plastic collections in Discovery Bay. In return, the students will also be creating products out of the shredded plastic and giving them to Plastic Free Seas to share with local primary schools. You can read more about their mission here.

A reminder that you can bring in your plastic waste as well! The team is still collecting Type 2 HDPE and Type 5 PP plastics to recycle (check the bottom of your containers if you are not sure). There are bins near the front entrance on both the Sha Tin Wai and Tai Wai campus — however, do make sure any stickers are removed and that the containers are properly cleaned before you bring them in.

If you want more information, you can also check out our website here: ttps://ispreciousplastic.weebly.com/updates.html

Article by Grace Zheng, Media Team