Plastic Beach Party is a community-driven effort to introduce plastic recycling to Aruba. Started through an open design thinking workshop, community members engaged to experiment with plastic recycling, prototype recycled products, and build an organization to make plastic recycling accessible on the island. Starting with the Precious Plastic machines, the mini-factory was collaboratively built by volunteers, and has since recycled over six and a half tonnes of plastic over its first two years of operations.
The project has grown during a period when traditional recycling practices are failing globally, and has done so by pioneering a new approach to the industry: charging the price it actually costs to recycle plastic. This makes the service initially expensive, especially as a developing start-up, but allows it to secure the most passionate clients first, and to grow slowly allowing for process improvement along the way. Additionally, the costs that are associated with responsible management of plastic waste provide an incentive for clients to produce less waste, which saves them money. On the other end, Plastic Beach Party designs and produces custom products for local clients, focusing on design principles that result in valued, lasting recycled plastic products that further reduce the demand for the alternatives of disposable and imported virgin plastic products.