For Earth Day 2024, there is a commitment for a 60% reduction in plastic production by 2040 and eliminating single-use plastics by 2030! We are excited to join forces with EARTHDAY.ORG and this post explains how Filamentive is striving to reduce plastic pollution and help make 3D printing more sustainable. This post is aligned with the four goals of Earth Day 2024: promoting public awareness on plastic pollution, phasing out single-use plastics, ending fast fashion and investing in innovative, plastic-free technologies.

Promoting Public Awareness on 3D Printing Plastic Pollution



According to many, 3D printing is a double edged sword. Although the technology itself is additive, its reliance on plastic feedstocks and the industry’s rapid growth could significantly worsen the existing plastic pollution crisis. At Filamentive, we feel a duty to highlight the environmental challenges the industry faces, in particular the problem of 3D printing waste.

As per a 2021 HSSMI case study, 33 percent of 3D prints become waste. In the UK, it is estimated that filament-based 3D printing consumes approximately 1,148,400 kilograms of filament annually, while generating around 379,000 kilograms of plastic waste each year. Compounding the problem is the stark reality that 70% of 3D printer operators do not recycle their PLA waste, highlighting a critical gap in sustainable practices within the industry.

Understanding the waste management hurdles 3D printing operators face, Filamentive have forged a recycling partnership with 3D Printing Waste, offering customers free PLA 3D printing waste recycling, subject to eligibility criteria. The groundbreaking initiative is the first of its kind in the UK and will further help reduce plastic pollution generated by 3D printing.


Phasing Out Single-Use Plastics from 3D Printing


Reducing Waste with 100% Recyclable Cardboard Spooling


Where possible, recycled materials are used to produce our 3D printer filament, in accordance with ISO 14021:2016.  By repurposing materials that would otherwise end up in landfill, we not only give them a second life but also help mitigate the reliance on single-use plastics and the demand for virgin materials.

Recognising that empty spools can constitute up to 20% of net waste from 3D printing, Filamentive utilises 100% recyclable cardboard spools for all ≤2.3 kg filament products. This spooling choice directly addresses the issue of single-use, hard-to-recycle plastic spools by providing an easy and effective recycling solution for the operator at the product’s end-of-life.

For tips on how to creatively recycle and reuse empty filament spools, we invite you to explore this blog post.


How 3D Printing can address Fast Fashion


Re-Textiles 3D


Although Filamentive operates outside the fashion industry, we would like to spotlight a collaboration with designer, Ganit Goldstein, showcases the potential of 3D printing to produce sustainable fashion items, thereby reducing waste and fostering a circular economy.

The Re-Textiles 3D project is an example of how partnerships within the fashion industry can substantially reduce plastic pollution. Utilising Filamentive’s recycled filament, this project converts potential waste into valuable resources. This innovative strategy not only lessens the environmental footprint of garment production but also promotes sustainable consumption. By creating personalised, made-to-measure clothing, the project addresses the environmental concerns associated with fast fashion and its contribution to waste, offering a sustainable alternative that aligns with efforts to reduce the industry’s impact on the planet.


Innovation Investment and Sustainable 3D Printing Materials



While the core of 3D printing, including Filamentive’s product range, relies on plastics, there is a clear recognition of EARTHDAY.ORG’s vision for a plastic-free world.

As part of this commitment, Filamentive is engaging with the MasterSpool concept, which aims to provide spool-less refill filament. This can be used either with a reusable reel or by enabling operators to 3D-print a master spool on-demand, significantly reducing plastic waste by offering a sustainable alternative to disposable, hard-to-recycle plastic spools.

Additionally, Filamentive acknowledges the ongoing challenges associated with PLA waste management and the increasing market demand for truly biodegradable materials. In response, Filamentive is actively investigating alternative materials that offer true biodegradability, focusing on developing compostable filaments that align with practical environmental sustainability goals.


Helping to Reduce The Plastic Impact of 3D Printing


Reducing the Environmental Impact of your 3D Printing spool at a time!


Filamentive is committed to addressing the critical environmental issues associated with plastic pollution, exemplified by its multifaceted approach to sustainability. By promoting public awareness of the impacts of plastic pollution, phasing out single-use plastics through innovations like the MasterSpool concept, and confronting the challenges of fast fashion with sustainable 3D printed garments, Filamentive is actively contributing to a greener future.  Furthermore, the company’s investment in researching and developing biodegradable and compostable materials reflects a strong dedication to pioneering plastic-free technologies.

This Earth Day, Filamentive encourages everyone to engage with EARTHDAY.ORG to amplify the impact of collective actions aimed at reducing plastic pollution and advancing toward a plastic-free world. Together, through awareness, innovation, and action, substantial progress can be made in safeguarding our planet for future generations.