Clear Drop aims to streamline recycling by pressing bags into bricks
Loose plastic bags can be a hassle to separate and store for recycling, plus they may blow away and become litter if they're left outside at the recycling depot. The Clear Drop SPC is made to help, by compressing loads of your bags into compact bricks.
Looking not unlike a regular kitchen trash bin, the SPC (Soft Plastic Compactor) gets filled with the user's discarded plastic bags – assuming they're not going to be reused, that is – along with other "soft plastics" such as product packaging film.
Once it's full, the device compresses its load of plastic bags, etc into a cube shape, plus it applies just enough heat to melt a thin layer of plastic around the outside of that cube. After that layer has cooled, the result is a "brick" of compacted soft plastic waste, temporarily held together by a thin melted-plastic outer shell. A tuft of uncompressed plastic on top serves as a handle.
According to the Texas-based Clear Drop company, a patented process keeps the SPC from releasing toxic fumes "above levels accepted by health regulations and standards" as the plastic is being melted.
The idea is that users will just place the brick in their blue bin, after which it will be picked up and delivered to the local municipal recycling facility along with the rest of their recyclables. Once it's at the depot, staff there will simply break it open – which is claimed to be easily done – so they can access and sort the non-melted plastic bags within.
That being said, though, how will the workers know that it's bag-brick which can be broken open?
"Clear Drop is actively working with the recycling facilities. Our SPCs will not be sold without their participation," CEO Ivan Arbouzov told us. "Our distribution will take place in coordination with facilities, and sometimes the SPCs will be distributed by them or at least promoted by them."
The Clear Drop SPC will be available for preorder starting next month, priced at US$295. It should ship next July.
You can see it in use, in the video below.
Source: Clear Drop