Envision Charlotte is turning takeout food containers into Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). You probably don’t even realize it, but most of the plastic containers you get your takeout and food delivery in are NOT recyclable at our local Material Recovery Facility (MRF). Although mostly labeled as recyclable, and dutifully put in your recycle bin, in Mecklenburg County/Charlotte they are not, and will ultimately be rejected by the MRF and end up at the landfill.
Back in May, Envision Charlotte/Circular Charlotte began collecting plastic takeout containers and using newly acquired machinery to turn them into filament for 3D printers. That filament is then donated to those producing face shields for frontline medical workers.
You can donate washed takeout containers using receptacles placed at two CLT locations:
- Innovation Barn (Temporarily moved next door to Solid Waste Services – 1105 Otts Street)
- 7th Street Public Market (Inside breezeway on 7th street entrance side)
The response has been enormous with individuals, communities, restaurants, and civic organizations from around Charlotte asking to pitch in. The program has been so successful so far that Envision Charlotte has created a recurring Volunteer Day each week to help break down the consistent flow of plastics received.
There will be three, one-hour shifts every Thursday from 9am-12pm. Volunteers are needed to help sort the plastics and others to help break down the plastics with scissors. The stations are spread out to adhere to social distancing. You will need to wear a mask and gloves (to combat the heavy scissors used) are recommended.
Envision Charlotte is a public private plus collaborative that leads Charlotte’s progress as a global Smart City through innovations that strengthen economic competitiveness, environmental sustainability and positive community impacts.
Local PPE producers can also apply for free filament from Envision Charlotte by visiting their website.