Debrah Nijdam & Mitchell Lammering
Debrah and Mitchell are two engineers who started a project called Limpi. Debrah is born and raised on Curacao and moved to Rotterdam in 2012 to pursue her study Industrial Product Design. This is where she met Mitchell. He stood out from the crowd, mainly cause he is very tall but also because they had so much in common. Their study focuses on mass production of plastic products, how to design the product, different techniques to make products, what rules to imply to make the product makable, different characteristics of plastic types and most importantly the dangers of plastic.
In 2015 Debrah and Mitchell flew over to Curacao to enjoy a nice vacation. Because they are two adventurous types they cruised around a lot on the north side of Curacao. This is when their eyes opened up. So much plastic washes ashore on our small island! Trash is thrown out of the car window like its nothing, in the supermarkets almost every fruit is wrapped in extra plastic, drinking bottles and foam containers roam the sides of the streets. Something needs to be done.
On July 2016 they graduated as engineers and were ready to take on the real world. "What are we going to do now? Work a fulltime job in Holland or start up something in Curacao where we work hands on?" "You know what? Let's just go for it! Let's make our own machines and make new products from all that plastic trash that is filling up our dushi island." "We raise awareness about the plastic problem, we clean up Curacao, we can creatively design and make products and we produce locally replacing some of the import."
In August 2016 they took their first step. They came across a wonderful platform that had free blueprints for machines to recycle plastic into new products called Precious Plastic. First they thought "oh no! now our idea isn't unique anymore". But it was the best thing that could have happened because they didn't have to reinvent the wheel.
So step one: Build the machines. They studied product design not machine building. "How do we make all of this on a low budget?" After all they were financing this with their own savings. "Where do you get a 2nd hand motor? How does that motor work? Where do you buy special parts? Where do you make special parts?" These were all challenges these two engineers had to figure out. From their study they learned that whatever you want to figure out, do your research, talk to experts, ask for help and you will always achieve your goal.
They sent two of their half built machines to Curacao and were ready for their new challenge: Making it all work.