Young entrepreneurs Brady and Angela Rogers take a punch at plastic pollution
STORY BY SHANNON LINDEN | TOP PHOTO BY NIKITA TAYLOR
As newlyweds Brayden and Angela Rogers began setting up house together in the spring of 2019, excitement dimmed when heaps of plastic packaging from wedding gifts, furniture, groceries, and online shopping piled up around them.
“We couldn’t believe it,” Brayden says.
A problem lay before their eyes, but so did a solution.
Brayden has a degree in electrical engineering and a specialty in mechatronics; Angela a passion for design and web development. Both love 3D printing.
In a leap of faith and only a month after this Kelowna couple exchanged vows, they quit their jobs and combined talents to create The Rogerie, a company that salvages discarded plastic and turns it into household hygge.
Movements to discourage our throwaway culture have come a long way. Reducing single-use plastic — things like drinking straws, shopping bags, candy bar wrappers and plastic cutlery — has gained popularity but not as quickly as the garbage is piling up.
A staggering amount of plastic still ends up in landfills where it doesn’t so much break down as break up over time. Known as microplastics, tiny fragments end up in waterways, where they are ingested by wildlife. Meanwhile millions and millions of metric tons of plastic accumulate in oceans every year.
With a plethora of plastic in the environment, the Rogers thought, why not use what’s already there?
They started with 3D designs, setting up shop in the laundry room of their rental house. Only it was next to the bedroom.
“The 3D printer is loud,” Brady laughs. “It kept us up at night.” Then there was the issue of multiple cords running everywhere and one or two power outages. When the couple relocated to a bigger location with a basement, they were in business.
The process of recycling is complicated. In essence, it involves removing plastic from a waste stream like a landfill or shopping mall, cutting it into chunks, then washing and shredding it into flakes. From there, flakes are extruded into 3D printer filament and colour concentrate is added. The filament is reground into coloured pellets, fed into the printer and voila!
Out comes modern, stylish, and practical household items like planters, countertop composters, birdfeeders, wine glasses and soap dishes ranging in colours from bright white to aqua and pink. Water bottles and sunglasses are on deck.
The Rogers’ shop is powered by renewable energy and materials are sourced in Canada with minimal ground shipping. The couple is also prospecting partnerships with landfills and other manufacturers close to home.
This winter, their Christmas pop-up in Orchard Park Mall sold out. Word travels fast when your concept and products are this appealing. Look for them at farmers’ markets and visit them at therogerie.com.