NSU students organizing Plastic Purge, collecting water bottles


NATCHITOCHES – A Northwestern State University student group is collecting plastic water bottles for a service project that will promote negating plastic waste and educate the public on plastic re/upcycling.  Natchitoches and surrounding communities are invited to join the 2020 Plastic Purge by bringing plastic bottles to the NSU Kyser Brickway from 2-6 p.m. Thursday, April 16.  Bottles should be paper-free and rinsed.


“It’s an environmental impact project for President’s Leadership Program,” said Linnsey Brown of DeRidder. “Our main goal is to cut down and bring awareness to the amount of plastic waste created by our community.”


The group is working with NSU Professor of Art Corbin Covher who was awarded a Healthy Communities grant from Keep Louisiana Beautiful to fund the fabrication of machines that recycle plastic, taking part in a growing movement to become Precious Plastics Louisiana.


Preciousplastic.com is a resource that not only teaches about plastics, but has downloadable blueprints, information and how-to videos for DIY plastic processing.  In addition to educating students, Covher plans to host open workshops to educate the public about environmental impact, ecological responsibility and artistic practices that foster good stewardship.


The plastic collected through the Plastic Purge will be used in Covher’s classes to teach mold-making and casting.  The recycling technology will be used to produce blocks for carving, sheets for construction and molds to cast sculptures.  Eventually all NSU art students will participate in a class with a recycling component as part of the department’s core requirements.


As part of the awareness initiative, Covher’s students will be encouraged to save a month’s worth of recyclables, process them and track results with quantifiable data on how much plastic is being transformed in pounds.


“Everyone from NSU and Natchitoches who becomes involved by donating their plastic waste will benefit by becoming part of the solution,” Covher said.


For more information on the Plastic Purge, email forklitternsu@gmail.com.