What is the LPM Project?
The LPM Project is an initiative that aims to do two things:
Design products that can only be made from large quantities of plastic waste.
Enable local communities to gain control over their plastic waste.
The LPM Project is a subsidiary of Talon Technology which is a research and development company specialising in designing advanced composite products mainly out of carbon fibre.
Talon has 30+ years of experience in product design and development and with this experience, we believe we have what is required to solve this growing issue. Using our design expertise we are developing an industry-leading process/machine, called a local plastic microfactory, that is simple and easy to implement within local communities.
The main target communities for the LPM project are specifically within the Asia Pacific region. This is because of how fast the issue is growing in this region due to unavailable collection infrastructure and the natural layout of the country's topography.
What is the problems and how are we solving it?
We see that there is a problem on two fronts within this space, the first being that so much of the focus is on the collection of plastic waste. For years, companies and organisations have been talking about how many tonnes of plastic waste they have removed from the ocean and not much talk about what they are turning that waste into. The few organisations that do make products are simply not using enough waste plastic to make a big enough difference.
The second problem is the idea that plastic waste needs to be sorted and cleaned before it can be recycled. This is an idea that has been driven by plastic manufacturers when asked if they can take waste plastic and reprocess it into the same product. The costs involved in this process make the sorted and cleaned plastic more expensive than virgin materials making the entire process uneconomical.
What makes the LPM project different is that we are looking at plastic waste as a material and designing specific products for that material, not trying to push the waste into existing products. The types of products that we have designed and developed to date are ones that replace wood, steel, and concrete parts because they will enable the use of high volumes of plastic waste. One of the biggest benefits of using this material is that if the part is damaged or meets the end of its life it can be reprocessed back into the same product with no waste produced.
How is the LPM Project different to other recycling companies?
The LPM Project is not a recycling company and we are not trying to be. Our role is to complement the collection organisations and become the last step in recycling plastic waste, by providing technical knowledge and designing products that will use plastic waste in the most effective way.
Current recycling programs have a heavy reliance on bins and trucks, collecting waste and moving it. In the Asia Pacific region transport is often poor and moving low-value plastic waste is simply not going to happen. We hope to solve this part of the problem by making plastic waste manufacturing viable locally.
We believe that done properly we will create a demand for plastic waste, which will open a whole new sustainable market in the plastic waste industry.