At our kombucha bar, sustainability and supporting local businesses are at the core of our values. When it came to designing tap handles for our bar, we sought a unique solution that aligned with our commitment to sustainability. Through a collaboration with Gamer Gadetry a local 3D printing company in the Okanagan, we found the perfect match. In this blog post, we'll delve into the sustainable aspects of our 3D-printed tap handles and flight trays, showcasing the benefits of this innovative approach and the positive impact it has on our environment.
So what makes this sustainable?
The Power of 3D Printing and Collaboration: By partnering with Gamer Gadgetry, we tapped into their expertise and passion for creating unique, sustainable solutions. 3D printing offered us precise, low-waste options with intricate detailing that perfectly complemented our vision. This collaboration not only supported a local business but also allowed us to harness the benefits of 3D printing for our sustainability goals.
The Sustainable Nature of PLA Plastic: Gamer Gadgetry uses polylactic acid (PLA) as the primary material for their 3D printing. PLA is an eco-friendly alternative to traditional fossil fuel-based plastics. It is derived from natural or recycled materials such as corn starch and sugarcane, making it biodegradable and non-toxic. The use of PLA in their prints reduces the carbon footprint associated with traditional plastic manufacturing, making it a more sustainable choice.
Advantages of PLA Plastic over Fossil Fuel-based Plastics: PLA plastic offers several benefits when compared to traditional plastics derived from fossil fuels. These advantages include:
- Lower CO2 emissions: PLA plastic has a lower carbon footprint, particularly when sourced from a local company like Gamer Gadgetry. By reducing delivery distances and excess packaging, we further minimize our environmental impact.
- Circular economy support: Bioplastics like PLA contribute to a circular economy. They can be recycled, biodegrade, and support sustainable material flows, unlike petroleum-based plastics that persist in landfills for centuries.
- Limited waste: Traditional manufacturing processes often generate significant waste. However, 3D printing with PLA results in precise prints, minimizing excess material and reducing mistakes. This approach significantly reduces waste and supports sustainable production practices.
- Green energy: 3D printers operate on electricity, which can be powered by renewable resources such as solar energy. This makes the process more sustainable and aligns with our commitment to reducing carbon emissions.
Reusability and Recycling: Our 3D-printed tap handles and flight trays are not only lightweight and durable but also easily recyclable. If any part breaks, we can return it to the shop, where Gamer Gadgetry recycles the PLA material for future use. This closed-loop approach ensures that the PLA is efficiently repurposed, avoiding landfill accumulation and reducing the need for new materials.
Passion for Innovation and Community Support: One of the key reasons we chose to work with Gamer Gadgetry is their dedication to educating others about 3D printing and its sustainable possibilities. They constantly seek innovative ways to improve their products and explore new applications for their technology. This commitment extends beyond their own projects, as they actively support local businesses and contribute to the growth of our community.
We love working with 3D printed products because they are lightweight, durable and the best part is that if anything breaks, we can take it back to the shop and they will recycle the product there. The PLA can then be broken down and re-used for other products. It has almost a full life cycle of renewability. No landfill or long trip to be repurposed. The tap handles turned out so well that we used the same technique to print our flight trays.
As if these aren’t enough reasons to become a big fan of this type of 3D printing, one of the things we love most about Gamer Gadgetry is their passion for educating about 3D printing and the possibilities it offers. They are always looking for new ways to innovate, not only about their products, but finding new uses to make their products practical and sustainable. They strive to help local businesses and our community with their projects. We are super happy with the result and stoked for you to start seeing them at our stockists and in our tap room.