Curacao's Journey to Circularity Recycling

BON BINI

We are happy you are recycling with us! We are convinced that together we can make a positive change in Curaçao’s journey to circularity.

Curaçao’s Journey to Circularity is a new initiative from Green Phenix in collaboration with TUI Care Foundation and Mambo Beach Boulevard that supports the efforts to create circular economy in Curaçao.

Curacao's Journey to Circularity

Journey to Circularity aims to:

Increase Plastic Recycling

Support Green Jobs

Create unique Experiences

The Plastic Recycling Process

On the Curacao’s journey to circularity, the plastic goes through the 4 steps of recycling at Green Phenix in order to be used again.

  1. Collection
  2. Sorting
  3. Shredding
  4. Creation using Extrusion or 3D Printing

Collection

Collection is the first step to reduce plastic waste and pollution on Curaçao.

We collect

Green Phenix saves plastic from going to waste, by collecting it from people and businesses. We happily take the following empty and rinsed recyclables.

Curacao's Journey to Circularity Recycling - YES

We happily take all your plastic bottles of types 1, 2 and 5 as well as your aluminium cans. On each plastic bottle, there should be a recycling symbol with a number in the middle. That number displays the type of plastic:

Recycling Plastic Types

Recycle Responsibly

Please avoid Wish-cycling. This means, bringing us things that you hope we can recycle, but we cannot. It contaminates our material stream, and it offers a lot of operational difficulties.

Curacao's Journey to Circularity Recycling - NO

To recycle

Please rinse it first

Clean plastic is much easier to process. Most of the processing is done manually, so clean bottles are highly appreciated by our team.

Drop it off

You can always bring us your recyclables for free. We will take care of the processing and we
will ensure the materials will be recycled and turned into a new product.

Stress-free

For a small fee, we can also pick up your recyclables at your location. This way you do not have to worry about anything, and you are ensured that your environmental impact will be minimized.

Curacao's Journey to Circularity Recycling - Collection
Curacao's Journey to Circularity Recycling - Sorting

Sorting

We create order out of mixed recyclables.

Type & Color

At Green Phenix we sort and process plastic by type and color. We need to collect at least 2,5 kg of the same type and color to continue with the next step in the process.

Labels & Caps

When we receive bottles, we remove the labels, bottle caps and rings. The bottles that are left are cleaned before they are processed through a shredder.

Flakes

The plastic flakes from type 1, 2 and 5 can be used in our 3D printers, extruders or filament maker.

Transparent PET

The vast majority of the plastic we receive is PET. This type of plastic sinks in water.
So, if it ends up in the ocean, it will be out of sight. However, it will remain under the water surface, breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces.

Shredding

From waste to high quality resources.

Reducing the volume of collected plastic waste and creating high quality flakes is essential for successful recycling on small islands.

Sharp blades

A shredder is a machine that has a lot of sharp rotating blades that cut the plastic bottles into small pieces.

Repeat

The plastic bottles sometimes have to pass through the shredder several times to get the right size of flakes, depending on their further purpose.

Flakes

Flakes are small pieces of plastic. At Green Phenix the flakes are usually a single type of material that can be used as a resource for extrusion, 3D printing or for the filament maker.

Recycling: plastic flakes
Curacao's Journey to Circularity Recycling - Shredding

Creation

After sorting and shredding, the creation process begins. At Green Phenix, we currently follow two main creation processes: Extrusion and 3D printing.

Curacao's Journey to Circularity Recycling - Extruding

Extrusion

A technology that turns plastic flakes into products. In an extruder, plastic flakes are pushed into a barrel with heating elements. The flakes are melted and are turned into new products.

Start

Preheat the machine until about 200 °C and fill the hopper with plastic flakes. The flakes are pressed through the barrel with a screw and heated. Molten plastic comes out of the barrel and is either pushed in or turned around a mould.

Let it cool down

When the mould is full, remove it. Watch out, it will be hot! Let it rest for a little while, so the plastic can cool down and solidify.

Remove the product

When cooled down, you can remove your product from the mould.

Innovation

By using this technology, we can transform plastic waste into exciting new building materials that are lightweight, easy to work with and reusable.

3D Printing

Let’s get to know this new and exciting way to create! Like regular printing, 3D printing starts as a digital file. However, as the name suggests, it prints in 3 dimensions. You have the possibility to create almost everything you can imagine.

Start

You can choose to create your own digital file via 3D printing software, or you can download a premade file off the internet. There are libraries online dedicated to 3D printing.

Slice it up

After you’ve created your file, you’ll need to slice it, using a slicing software. Now your printer can read the different layers of your model and print them accordingly.

Press “print”

When your file is ready, you can send it to a 3D printer and wait for it to be rendered in full. The result is an awesome 3D model of what you envisioned on paper.

Waste to product

3D printing offers many options to create. Normally 3D printers use filament as feedstock. At Green Phenix we make our own filament from waste plastic, and we also have special printers that use flakes instead of filament. This enables us to make new products from plastic waste. Isn’t that exciting?

Curacao's Journey to Circularity Recycling - Printing
Reduce single-use plastic on Curacao

Reduce your reliance on single-use plastic

Recycling in a circular economy is one of the ways to keep some necessary plastics as a material that can make living more affordable. Yet, there is plenty of plastic that is simple “convenient” and is not really necessary. We need a systemic change, as well as an effort of each of us as individuals, to change our habits and reduce the use of plastic we don’t need.

To help you with that, we suggest a few easy swaps in our article “Ways to reduce your single-use plastic“.

Educational tours

If you are interested to know more about our process of recycling and how to make products from recycled plastic, consider joining our educational tours at Paviljoen Zeelandia.