Category Archives: ZW-Video

A message for the people of East Belfast

Rossano Ercolini is a primary school teacher who became a Zero Waste activist when an incinerator was planned for his town of Capannori in Northern Italy. Judi Logue & Jim Keys of Zero Waste North West met him at the 2015 Zero Waste Conference in Sofia, Bulgaria.

What was evident from the conference was that the transformation Rossano inspired in Italy is a wave spreading across Europe. This is a powerful message of hope from Northern Italy to Northern Ireland via Bulgaria.


Having stopped the incinerator  in Capanori, Rossano Ercolini went on to stop incinerators across Italy;  and ultimately was awarded the 2013 Golden Environmental Prize for “Outstanding Environmental Achievement in Europe” .

Garbage Warrior

Michael Reynolds is a  maverick American architect. Garbage Warrior is a feature-length documentary.  It tells  of his fight with and ultimately triumph over bureaucracy as he seeks to create a space, in New Mexico, where he and his colleagues can develop radical approaches to sustainable housing.

He is anything but mainstream.  This is the story of an extraordinary individual and his dream to create more sustainable ways for people to live in the world.   He built houses out of things that other people discarded – old tyres, bottles, beer cans.  The houses that he built in New Mexico were off all the utility grids.   They were autonomous units generating their own power, processing their own sewage. Collecting their own water.

Running time 90 minutes.  Summary at the Internet Movie Database.

DIY Plastic Recycling

In this short video someone from the website Atomic Shrimp explains how to identify  High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) plastic and then goes on to present a hobby project in which, using domestic tools, he recycles a small quantity of HDPE into pieces that can be used in diverse craft projects.

Running time: 14 mins 50 sec.         Uploaded to YouTube: 7 Dec 2012.

It is by no means an industrial process but it is a practical exposition of some of the principles behind plastic recycling.  As such it might be the basis of some educational project work with young people – under proper supervision of course.

In his follow-up video he makes the resulting piece of plastic into a pulley wheel that works with Lego technic.

How Plastic Bottles get Recycled into Polyester

Plastic bottles can be recycled into polyester thread.  It is not a simple process. This video shows how it is done, all the way from when you throw away an unwanted plastic bottle, through the shredding washing and multistep processing until it becomes a material like raw cotton; from  there the process is more like textile manufacturing.

Running time 5 mins 30 sec       Uploaded to YouTube: 13 Dec 2009


Plant Based Plastic

Ten years ago, Helmut Nägele and Jürgen Pfitzer had an idea. Now, their persistence has paid off. Their company, Tecnaro, successfully produces Arboform — a material made from wood that can be processed like plastic, but unlike plastic, it’s biodegradable.  It won the two entrepreneurs the 2010 European Inventor Prize organised by the European patent Office.

Running time: 4mins 30 seconds.  Uploaded to YouTube : 7 Jul 2010

ARBOFORM® is liquid wood

They now make three types of biodegradable plastic materials: