The Ethical Filament Foundation

techfortrade has announced the launch of The Ethical Filament Foundation. The initiative will work in partnership with organisations around the world to set the benchmark for the manufacture of ethically produced 3D printing filament, made from recycled plastic waste.

With the growing global market for 3D printer filament, The Ethical Filament Foundation will ensure the availability of a recycled, ethical alternative to the standard virgin plastic variety. The initiative aims to both provide income stability for waste pickers in developing countries and to reduce the environmental impact by helping to cut levels of plastic waste.

The Ethical Filament Foundation is working on the development of a recognised standard and a global mark that will be licensed for use by partner organisations producing filament in accordance with its guidelines. A draft of these guidelines has been released for comment and review and is available via the Foundation’s website.

This standard will ensure that social, economic and environmental requirements are met in the production of 3D printer filament. It is also hoped that this will contribute towards a general improvement in wider trading relationships with waste pickers by influencing plastic industry standards. The Ethical Filament Foundation mark will act as a quality guarantee for those companies and individual consumers wishing to purchase recycled filament.

The Ethical Filament Foundation has been founded by techfortrade in partnership with Dreambox Emergence which provides 3D printing units for community based manufacturing in Guatemala, and Michigan Technological University.  The new organisation will work with ProtoPrint as the first certified producer. ProtoPrint is a 3D printing company in India that has done extensive work on the grassroots production of filament from recycled waste plastic in collaboration with an established waste pickers union called SWaCH. The ProtoPrint-SWaCH process is a low-cost, scalable process that empowers waste pickers in India with the technology to produce 3D printer filament from HDPE waste.

The Ethical Filament Foundation has also been attracting increased media interest together with its partner Protoprint: See our press page for articles and releases as the Foundation develops.