BUKIT MERTAJAM, PENANG, 22 September 2020 – Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) continues its innovative practice in raising the awareness of the community on recycling plastic waste with the invention of a Mini Printing Kiosk that utilises used plastic which has proven to produce useful items for the community.
The ‘Mini Circular Economy Manufacturing Kiosk: For Community Plastic Recycling’, an invention of the lecturer and researcher from the USM School of Materials and Mineral Resources Engineering (PPKBSM), Professor Dr. Zulkifli Mohamad Ariff is capable of producing a variety of products from plastic waste which could be of use to the community.
The mini kiosk has been confirmed to be able to produce complete items using discarded plastic from within 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the complexity and printing quality specified by the customer.
When met, Zulkifli who is also the PPKBSM Deputy Dean of Academic, Career and International said, his invention is a combination of various industrial processes rolled into one machine resulting in an easier, safe and faster production process, from the beginning until the end.
“The machine combines three processes, beginning with the ‘plastic shredder’, then followed by the ‘Screw Extruder’ and straightaway into the ‘3D Printer’ based on the layout specified by the customer, using a special software to finalise the production from the 3D model,” he explained.
Added Zulkifli, whose expertise is in the field of ‘Polymer Rheology dan Polymeric Foams’, this innovation took only two months to produce together with his team, and with the main intention of educating the community on the importance of caring for the environment. Currently, the situation has become more critical, especially with regard to plastic waste being thrown away without any regulated control or enforcement.
“My priority in coming up with this innovation is to focus on educating and guiding the local community to allow them to identify types of discarded plastic, reinforcing the knowledge on plastic waste through learning and experiencing, what actions to be taken, and finally to utilise this mini kiosk as a solution to the problem, to the extent that it could produce useful finished items.
“If the mini kiosk can be widely used within the communities, I believe that they will be more interested and creative in using the machine to produce a variety of useful items, at the same being able to generate income locally through the sale of those items, and at the same time reducing the cost of plastic waste disposal in the country,” he said at the launching ceremony of the USM Used Plastic Mini Printing Kiosk and the first in Penang by the Penang Chief Minister, Chow Kon Yeow, recently.
He further said, from the use of this mini kiosk, it would also allow for a social study to be conducted on the awareness of the community on the recycling of plastic and at the same time, it could also assist in the enforcement of waste segregation practice which requires the people in this country to separate their plastic waste at home.
“My team and I are quite excited, even though without any allocation of research grants for this invention, and combined with our know-how and experience of the research team, this mini kiosk has caught the eye of the Mayor of Seberang Perai, Dato’ Sr. Hj. Rozali Hj. Mohamud and the Seberang Perai City Council (MBSP) in providing full cooperation to ensure the success of this product,” he added.
Also present at the launching ceremony were the Mayor of Seberang Perai, Dato’ Sr. Hj. Rozali Hj. Mohamud; Penang State Executive Council Member who is also the EXCO for Housing, Local Government and Urban & Rural Planning, Jagdeep Singh Deo a/l Karpal Singh; City Secretary, Ir. Hjh. Rosnani Hj. Mahmod; Director of USM Centre for Global Sustainability Studies (CGSS), Associate Professor Dr. Saidatulakmal Mohd (representing the USM Vice-Chancellor) and key officials of MBSP.
Translation: Mazlan Hanafi Basharudin/Photo: Mohd Fairus Md. Isa