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Melrose Man's Invention Turns Plastic Bags Into Recyclable Pucks

MELROSE (CBS) -- Dave New has a pretty big idea.

He wants to turn many of the non-recyclable plastic items you might find in your home into recyclables.

"We really need to figure out a way to recycle this material or else we're going to be up to our necks in plastic bags," New told WBZ-TV from his home in Melrose.

The problem that New is trying to solve is that plastic bags and most plastic packaging film isn't recyclable. Rather, it is recyclable but not in its current form.

"The thin, flimsy form of the bags jam up the material handling equipment at the material recovery facility," New said.

And that means most of if it wasted -– hundreds of billions of pieces of plastic bags and film a year.

Enter New's invention – the Obaggo.

You can load it over the course of the week with plastic grocery bags, vegetable bags, newspaper bags, dry cleaning bags, the case wrap over paper towels and toilet paper, etc. And when the Obaggo is full, you just hit a button. The Obaggo uses compression and heat to shrink the plastic down into what can best be described as a puck.

"The idea then is this could be tossed in your recycling bin with the rest of your recyclables," New said.

Dave New holds up a plastic puck made from plastic bags in his Obaggo system. (WBZ-TV)

Once it's recycled, it can be shredded and turned into pellets, which can then be used to make just about anything.

New still needs to convince towns and recycling centers to accept the pucks. In lieu of that, he'll allow consumers to mail their pucks directly to him, and he can sell them to the companies that repurpose the plastic.

He's hoping to have the Obaggo available for purchase within the next year. To learn more, you can visit

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