As sustainability-focused initiatives in the AM world continue to pick up momentum (stay tuned for 3dpbm’s Sustainability AM Focus during the entire month of May), UK 3D printing filament brand, Filamentive, launched the Eco Responsible 3D Printing Alliance – an initiative to promote sustainable additive manufacturing practices.
Whilst at its core 3D printing is fundamentally less wasteful than traditional, subtractive manufacturing methods, the increase in resource extraction and usage – especially plastic – has the potential to detrimentally impact our planet, unless sustainable solutions can be implemented.
Filamentive commits to sustainability via three, value-added factors: recycled materials – high-percentage recycled plastics in lieu of virgin material where possible; designing for Circular Economy – 100% recyclable cardboard reels and packing materials; funding reforestation and renewable energy production, together with Ecologi.
The environmental wins of this include providing a sustainable source of raw materials for the 3D printing market while reducing the environmental impact of plastic-rich products. The initiative also seeks to minimize plastic sent to the diminishing landfill sites and to avoid consumption of the Earth’s finite oil stocks, while lowering energy demand compared to producing new, virgin polymers. This all contributes to offsetting CO2 emissions from business operations.
By promoting these initiatives as a holistic approach to sustainability within 3D printing, alliance members can utilize The Eco Responsible 3D Printing Alliance as a tool to communicate their commitment to sustainability.
Furthermore, alliance members will be listed as partners in a specially curated directory which will list the name of the business/organization and contact details, plus their specialist expertise area (e.g. 3D printing service, design consultancy, etc.).
In addition to the primary environmental benefit, this also unlocks commercial opportunities for businesses using 3D printing – enabling increased brand equity and enhanced USP, as well as tangible marketing benefits such as lead generation, SEO improvement and content for social channels.
SGD 3D—one of the leading on-demand 3D printing services in the UK—will be one of several alliance members. “We are proud to be supporting this scheme. Conservation has been a hot topic over the years and it’s our responsibility to do what we can to protect the environment. This new standard will demonstrate how the 3D Printing industry is responding & reacting to these challenges in a responsible way, especially those surrounding plastic waste,” said Sam Gribben, Managing Director of SGD 3D.
The Eco Responsible 3D Printing Alliance is currently open to business users of Filamentive materials, and includes permission to use the logo for digital and print marketing – the former also being an HTML hyperlink to a dedicated webpage which further explains the motivations and positive outcomes of the initiative. There will also soon be a dedicated directory that will list all alliance members, for maximum credibility & exposure.
Filamentive’s vision for the Eco Responsible 3D Printing Alliance is to curate a group of like-minded businesses and organizations to drive positive change in 3D printing – making a tangible impact to increase resource efficiency, reduce environmental impact, and harness a circular economy.
Linked to this, Filamentive is also committed to close the loop in 3D printing by ensuring zero waste to landfills via remanufacturing, pelletizing for secondary markets, biological treatment and/or chemical recycling. Trials are currently ongoing and Filamentive is working with partners, with a view to having a minimum viable service for current customers by Q4 2021.