A PreZero Earth Day Story: Upcycling Plastic and Concrete

concrete planters

How did PreZero US celebrate Earth Day this year? By mixing concrete and recycled plastic bag pellets to make flower pots, of course!

Earth Day’s student beginnings

Back in 1970, students rallied for radical environmental policy change on college campuses all around the U.S. At these “teach-ins,” community members and speakers came together to discuss environmental issues and devise solutions. Earth Day became officially recognized later that year, and since then, citizens celebrate by helping the planet in various ways.

Getting the local community involved in PreZero Earth Day

Since college students played a big part in the first Earth Day, we felt it fitting to partner with nearby Chico State University Concrete Industry Management Program (CIM) for this year's project.

Together, we dreamed up an unexpected upcycling project: Plastic pellet-filled concrete flower pots! Concrete is another highly recyclable material, so it was an easy pairing to see these two common materials come together. CIM students mixed concrete with the donated recycled plastic pellets from PreZero. Then, they used a campus 3D printer to make molds. They poured the concrete mixture into the molds to create 25 upcycled flower pots.

The finished product

PreZero donated the flower pots to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the North Valley to decorate and take home. Local nursery Magnolia Gift & Garden donated flowers and soil to finish this upcycled masterpiece.  It was an exciting way to demonstrate the ease of recycling and reusing!

Plastic can be used again in so many ways, and we hope this project inspires you to find new uses for the plastic you already have!