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Precious Plastic Aveiro

Plastic is everywhere. Why not give it a new life? That’s the idea behind “Precious Plastic Aveiro”, a candidate project for the 2019 Portuguese Youth Participatory Budget

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes and 15 seconds

Back in Spring, we were in Slovakia in the quiet village of Lazy pod Makytou, participating in the Erasmus+ Youth Exchange, Nature Calling, dedicated to the environment and sustainability. There we had the opportunity to attend a conference and learn more about what is being done for the environment in Europe. How young people are taking the reins of the future into their own hands, developing ideas, actions and projects to change the course of events. One of those ideas, presented at the conference, was Precious Plastic. Authored by Dave Hakkens, this is a project that promotes plastic recycling around the world, providing the tools and know-how to anyone interested.

We were so amazed by the idea that, back in Aveiro, we wanted to implement it. Fortunately, applications for the Young Participatory Budget - a process of democratic participation through which young people, between the ages of 14 and 30 are invited to submit public investment projects - were underway. Our volunteer and member of Agora Aveiro, Liliana Macedo, took the initiative and, together with other volunteers of the association, applied for the project in a Participatory Meeting at the Portuguese Institute of Sport and Youth, I.P. And so Precious Plastic Aveiro was born!

With Precious Plastic Aveiro, we intend to create three "creative recycling units" in Aveiro, Albergaria-a-Velha, and Estarreja. These are low-cost, do-it-yourself recycling units that allow, not only the collection, separation, and treatment of various types of plastic but also their transformation into a series of objects. The project will use the instructions and knowledge provided by Dave Hakkens' Precious Plastic to create the machines that will allow to grind the plastic, melt it and mold it into a variety of products. From pots and pucks to mobile phone covers, imagination is the limit.

Precious Plastic Aveiro is a place open to the community. A site where social and environmental awareness will be combined with creativity, design and digital skills.

In the meanwhile, we have received a lot of support for the project, and Liliana has already been interviewed by Vagos FM, in the talk show "Café Com" and by journalist Maria José Santana from Aveiro Mag

For the project to become a reality, we need the help of all young people, Portuguese citizens or residing in the country. If you are between 14 and 30 years old you can help make this idea come true by voting. To do this simply send a (free) SMS to 4310 with the text: 81 [space] full citizen's card number [space] autorizo. Voting can also be done through the platform of the Participatory Youth Budget, looking for candidacy nº 81, Precious Plastic Aveiro. Polls close on 4 August. Wish us luck!

Helder Berenguer