As plastic recycling options became more limited in Missoula year this year, one small business owner is determined to help solve the problem of plastic waste by running a recycling center at his house.
Precious Plastic is an international movement that works to take plastic recycling to the next level. Bryce Rowe works to bring that mission to Missoula.
Rowe runs Precious Plastic Missoula out of his garage. He has stacks of toaster ovens, a shredder and a press that he uses to repurpose plastic waste into durable products like lumber and door stops. He follows a three-step process to repurpose plastic bags and other materials: shred it, melt it and mold it.
“Precious Plastic Missoula is a great way to address the larger-scale problems in the recycling industry by creating a local solution that exists outside typical recycling solutions,” Rowe said. “We collect it and create products on-site without shipping to other places.”
Rowe collects plastic types one through seven, but he doesn’t have the equipment to process all of them yet. He actively recycles plastic types two, four and six. He’s advocated for Precious Plastic for more than two years, and he sees every day as an opportunity to make an impact.
“Taking a step forward can actually make change actively in the community,” Rowe said. "I want to still continue to have my footprint on helping make the world a better place.”
Rowe wants to raise enough money through the Precious Plastic Missoula GoFundMe page to get new, better equipment. His ultimate goal to turn the operation into a larger resource that the community can come to for any recycling needs.