Circular Economy Manufacturing creates solar-powered “microfactory”

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Circular Economy Manufacturing, a design group focused on the circular economy, has unveiled a small factory on Governors Island that uses solar energy to convert plastic waste into household items and city infrastructure. The factory, called MicroFactory, was constructed within a shipping container and was designed to turn household consumer plastic waste into usable objects within communities. The portable facility features a 10 kW solar array on top of the container, which powers the factory. To use the factory, people must bring their used, cleaned plastics and place them in an on-site shredder. The shredded plastic is then melted and cooled into preset molds using a rotational molding machine. The factory has so far produced lamps and chairs that have been sold back to the public to fund future endeavours. Circular Economy Manufacturing plans to grow the start-up by selling small products to citizens, urban infrastructure products to cities, and the entire MicroFactory to communities or countries. The goal is to bring MicroFactories to locations with ample plastic pollution and consistent sunlight, in order to create green jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, divert plastic waste from landfills, and educate community members about circular manufacturing.

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