The schoolboy running a recycling plant from his parents' garage

December 3, 2022

A teenage boy and part-time barber from Christchurch has set up his own little recycling plant – all from his parents' garage.

Levente Scott runs Upcycled Plastics, which turns plastic milk bottles into durable sheets.

The bottles are washed before being shredded and put through a heated press machine. After being melted down, the substance is transferred into a water-cooled mould.

"From my limited testing, I've found that it's quite a bit stronger than plywood and it can be nailed, screwed, cut, worked with in the exact same way," he told Seven Sharp.

It's also UV resistant and waterproof.

The final product can be used for everything from numbers for your letterbox, to pens and pendants.

The 17-year-old built every part of his recycling plant from scratch after seeking out mentors and watching online tutorials.

Levente said the business appeals to his environmental awareness.

"Hopefully with what I'm doing, I can extend the lifetime of plastic and hopefully, I can even recycle it up to 10 times – really get the most out of it," he said.

It takes 60 bottles to create one sheet, so Anchor delivers hundreds of used bottles collected from cafes around the Selwyn District to his front door. He also takes in coat hangers.

The Year 13 student said his next step is finding an investor to help buy proper equipment to manufacture more sheets.

"I think there is a really, really big future in recycling and just technology in general and I want to be a part of it."