[17 December 2021]

Have yourself a sustainable Christmas

As net-zero leaders in the Humber, the Aura Innovation Centre (AIC) is celebrating the festive period with a Christmas Tree made entirely from 100% recycled waste, which ordinarily would have found its way into landfills…

Christmas is a time for celebration and cheer, but with rising temperatures, rising waterlines, increasing waste issues, and the climate change emergency, it’s important to find a way to celebrate Christmas which doesn’t cost the Earth!

And what better way to mark the festive period than with an eco-friendly, re-used Christmas tree – decorated with recycled plastic 3D printed baubles produced in the AIC’s innovation space – InventX.

3D Printed Christmas Decorations - Aura Innovation Centre

Created by Humber-based plastic pioneers, ReWorked – the Christmas tree offers a carbon-friendly solution. As a waste management company, ReWorked has vast knowledge and experience in all aspects of waste collection treatment and its end-use. They focus on taking recycled waste and re-introducing it into the supply chain or repurposing it to make furniture and other goods.

ReWorked said:

“More than 103,000 tonnes of plastic packaging will be thrown away and not recycled in the UK this Christmas.

Our sustainable Christmas trees are made using 100% recycled plastic that would usually be considered non-recyclable.

Made from a mixture of beach waste, PPE, cosmetic packaging, manufacturing waste, and food packaging – these festive beauties are directly preventing landfill, incineration, and pollution!”

At the AIC, the eco-friendly festivities didn’t stop there. In a bid to reduce festive footprints further Computer-Aided Design Technician, Jordan Strachan used the centre’s cutting-edge facilities to create decorative 3D printed baubles using recycled plastic filament.

Jordan said:

“At the AIC we shred our own plastic waste to turn it into filament for the 3D printers, so with this capability, it made sense to design and create our own sustainable baubles.”

The 3D printers are part of the cutting-edge InventX facilities available at the Aura Innovation Centre and are used to develop innovative solutions for businesses within the region. Notably, the printers were used during the COVID-19 pandemic when the AIC produced 3D printed faceguards to help health services tackle Coronavirus… The AIC subsequently became a national hub for 3D printed waste (In order to mitigate the environmental impacts caused by the increase in face shield manufacturing).

The AIC has collaborated on a number of 3D printed projects, most recently being a collaboration with the University of Hull’s Energy and Environment Institute to produce 3D printed replicated coral, to enable their research into how corals of various densities trap microplastics and how this relates to canopy hydrodynamics – ironically using a material that harms marine life in order to save it.

Both PLA and PET-G plastics can be recycled using the Centre’s facilities, so if you have any materials you’d like to be reused then please get in touch with the team3D printed coral for research - Aura Innovation Centre at the Aura Innovation Centre.

The team is also looking to work with businesses that can help to shred the waste plastic to enable us to reuse materials created through 3D printing.

About the Aura Innovation Centre

Led by the University of Hull, the Aura Innovation Centre (AIC) is a community that supports businesses of all sizes, helping them to accelerate low-carbon projects, drive green innovation and deliver clean business growth. Funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Green Port Growth Programme, the Northern Powerhouse and match-funded by the University of Hull, the AIC opened its doors in January 2020. By connecting businesses with university research power, the public sector, and local communities in one convenient place, we’re bringing the Humber together to shape the way in low-carbon innovation.

We help businesses to transform ideas into viable solutions that provide real value and opportunities, whilst cutting carbon emissions. The AIC provides access to advanced facilities and equipment, specialist funding support, and a network of extraordinary minds at the University of Hull.

Click here to find out more about the AIC.

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