A PROJECT aimed at tackling plastic waste has launched in the Amman Valley.

Artisan Plastics is a community project developed by Rob Venus, the Community Development Officer of Cwmaman Town Council.

The idea is to create a micro-scale plastic recycling space which will encourage clean-up activities in the community as well as promote education and learning.

Thought to be a first for Wales, the concept will see volunteers build four machines which will be used to process plastic materials collected through community clean-up operations. The plastic will then be made into community products that can be sold to generate income to further develop the project and to support other community activities.

Speaking about the plans Rob said: “It’s about not sending plastic to waste but creating something new with it, something to cherish. Plastic has become a demon, and it can be when used and disposed of in the wrong way, but we want to create plastic sculptures and artwork for the community that will last a lifetime. There’s no getting rid of plastic altogether so let’s reuse it and do something good with it.”

The project, which will be part funded by Cwmaman Town Council, is open to all communities.

Rob explains, “It’s not just about the Amman Valley but the wider community too. This isn’t a closed-door project we are very keen to collaborate with different communities and organisations.”

The team are now looking for volunteers to help kick-start the project.

“I would love to hear from engineers to help create the machines,” added Rob.

“We are also looking to work with the local schools and groups who will receive training to help produce the moulds. The children can get involved by collecting plastics and we can show the children the science behind it. It’s a project for all ages.”

Once the project is complete the aim is to support other communities and groups across Wales to develop their own, similar project, with workshops, courses and build sessions being delivered within Cwmaman.

Backing the idea, Dr Lizzie Wilberforce, Conservation Manager for the Wildlife Trust, said: “We are particularly supportive of the Artisan Plastic Amman Valley project because of the support and incentive it provides to collect plastics from the environment and create a more sustainable basis for reducing plastic waste in the community. It will help to change hearts and minds, to regard plastic as a resource instead of a disposable convenience. It will also help physically reduce existing plastic litter in the environment in Carmarthenshire, where it currently creates a hazard for wildlife in the landscape, particularly in rivers like the Amman.

“We wish you the very best of luck with the project”

If you would like to lend your skills to the project you can contact Rob Venus on email robvenus@cwmamantc.org or ring 01269 823299

More information on the project and a list of materials you can donate can be found on the Facebook page Artisan Plastic - Amman Valley