Filament Friday: Refil PET Helps Divert Plastic Bottles from Landfills

3D Printing & Imaging Digital Fabrication
Filament Friday: Refil PET Helps Divert Plastic Bottles from Landfills

For our first Filament Friday, I brought you Refil’s Recycled ABS filament, an alternative to buying first-use plastics and creating more plastic waste with your 3D printing adventures. This week I’m back with another filament from Refil, their recycled PET. While not 100% recycled, this is a great use for some of the millions of plastic bottles we throw away every year.

Refil’s recycled PET is made of 90% recycled material from either blue or green bottles. PET is the material that most drinking bottles are made from. It’s food safe, easy for manufacturers to form, and is extremely durable. The problem is, its durability and popularity have left the world filled with plastic bottles. The PET Resin Association reports that 3.1 million tons of PET is produced yearly in the United States alone, with only about a 31% recycling rate. Turning some of that waste into your prints is a great way to remove it from the world’s landfills and oceans.

Bales of crushed PET Bottles from Matthewdikmans CC BY-SA 3.0

The sample spool of Refil PET that I received from their US reseller 3D Brooklyn is their green variant and the color is incredible. A translucent lime green, the color pops and made me smile as soon as I opened the box. The print quality just widened that smile. I was really impressed by how well the final print turned out. This time around, I used the Prusa I3 Mk2, which undoubtedly helped my results. The default PET profile provided with the I3 gave me a super clean print with no stringing, blobs, or other defects.

I’ve been incredibly pleased with the output quality of both of Refil’s filaments. While ABS and PET are easy to come by due to their popularity in the market, I hope Refil will have an easy time coming by other plastics they can recycle and bring to us in filament form.

Check back every Friday for weekly reviews on 3D printing filament.

If you have a filament you would like us to try out or are a producer of filament, email me at and we will try to make it an upcoming installment of Filament Friday!

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Matt is a community organizer and founder of 3DPPVD, Ocean State Maker Mill, and HackPittsburgh. He is Make's digital fabrication and reviews editor.

View more articles by Matt Stultz


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