A Collaborative Mindset proves Uplifting for Silvergate and Plastic-IT

13/10/20

Silvergate Plastics and Plastic-IT have joined forces to produce a contemporary mindfulness aid manufactured using recycled fishing nets.

Uplifting Products, an innovative UK start-up, had a vision to transform waste fishing nets into a functional piece of art that would promote mindfulness. Uplift 2.0 is a beautiful, solar-powered spiral sculpture that creates a mesmerising, never-ending spiral that inspires people to unwind, as it gracefully turns in a hypnotic, flowing motion. As a limited-edition interior design piece, the cosmetic finish was paramount to the product’s appeal.

During the initial research stage of the project, Uplifting Products saw potential in semi-translucent waste fishing nets found washed up on the beaches of the Southern coastline. To reduce the product’s environmental footprint, waste nets were sourced from Hake Fisheries in Cornwall, saving them from landfill.

Commenting on the choice of raw material, company director Tom Lawton said:

“An important element of this project was the incorporation of recycled materials. The equivalent CO2 saving between waste Nylon 6 and virgin plastic was significant; 1kg of our raw waste material cost 0.201kg of CO2 compared to 9.28kg of CO2 for a global reference virgin Nylon 6.

“Despite the attractive figures, we still faced an enormous challenge. The material path wasn’t proven or tested, so we had to invest in extensive research before we were ready to use the waste product.”

It was during this time that Tom turned to Plastic-IT, an innovative, family-run injection moulding company based in rural Shropshire. It was here that the mould tools could be designed to manufacture the Uplift’s double helix components.

Richard Webster at Plastic-IT approached Silvergate Plastics to develop a masterbatch that would be compatible with the recycled material. The natural fish nets were green in colour, but a deeper colour that would represent ocean waves was requested. Silvergate set about colour matching and manufacturing an Aquatic Teal that would contribute towards the relaxing element of the product.

Silvergate’s support did not end at colour matching. Due to the company’s flexible infrastructure, technicians were able to compound the raw material into the desired colour, so the moulding polymer could be added directly into Plastic-IT’s injection moulding machines. By compounding the material, Silvergate was able to ensure full compatibility between the masterbatch and recycled raw materials.

The launch of Uplift 2.0 has been very successful, as Tom explains:

“The collaborative expertise of Plastic-IT and Silvergate, and their willingness to take on such a left-field project, enabled us to repeatedly and consistently produce a first-class product that is gaining great acclaim. We have received excellent customer reviews and have already secured our first retail partner, B-Corp UncommonGoods based in the US. The first batch of products has completely sold out, which is uplifting news given the fact we have launched a brand-new product during a global pandemic!”

Every sale from www.beuplifted.co.uk helps raise essential funds for mental health services for The Sea Sanctuary, which believes in the benefits of blue health, the concept that blue spaces, such as the sea, are beneficial for people’s mental and emotional wellbeing.

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