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Italian High-School Students Create Vending Machine That Turns Plastic Trash into Phone Cases

A group of high-school students from Italy have invented an awesome vending machine that grinds used plastic bottles into pellets which are then turned into smartphone cases by a built-in 3D printer.

Saving the planet, making the world cleaner for future generations or just doing the right thing are powerful arguments for recycling, but the truth is some people require more materialistic incentives to actually give a damn about the environment. It’s a sad reality, but a group of kids have come up with an ingenious invention that may just get more young people involved in waste recycling – a vending machine that eats up plastic trash and turns it into stylish cases for a variety of popular smartphone models.

Photo: MyProAction/Facebook

Marco Tomasello, Daniele Caputo, Vincenzo Virruso, Vittorio Maggiore, Toni Taormina, and their teacher, Daniela Russo were looking for an efficient way of getting youth more involved in environment conservation when they came up with the idea for the MyProAction device. It looks like a regular vending machine, only instead of money it accepts plastic bottles and releases stylish smartphone cases in return.

Photo: MyProAction/Facebook

The ingenious device breaks down the plastic waste into small pellets which are then used by a built-in 3D printer to create various case designs. It’s not clear whether the cases are created on the spot, after someone introduces a certain amount of plastic, or if they can only select one of the pre-made cases. I suspect it may be the latter, as the 3D making process can take a long time. Still, the concept is pretty cool, as MyProAction vending machines could be very popular in schools and places where youths who love upgrading their handhelds hang out. After all, getting a free phone case for a bunch of empty plastic bottle is a pretty sweet deal.

Photo: MyProAction/Facebook

The five students told Upworthy that they had no idea their high-school project would ever become a reality, but after the AXA Italia Social Impact Award in a national contest, the ingenious vending machine has been gaining worldwide interest. They currently have four prototypes set up and are looking for a distribution partner to get them mass-produced.

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