The inappropriate disposal of objects made of plastics materials creates a problem for the environment and the diminishing landfill space, so recycling or reusing plastics materials is extremely important. Many objects can be made from reused materials either in their raw state or in a processed or reconfigured state. The recycling or reusing of plastics can create a new material; create a new use for the product; or recreate a similar object.
Creating a new material from old plastics products can generate some interesting new results. The Smile Plastics samples (1) show how simple products can be turned into substantial slabs of material and create different effects. The original products such as yoghurt pots and vending machine coffee cups (2 & 3) were relatively fragile in their original form but when reprocessed create a solid material from which to build worktop surfaces, doors, or outdoor seating. Alternatively, the Marks & Spencer school blazer (4) has been made from recycled PET bottles which have been chipped, heated, spun into thread, then woven or knitted into sheets of soft, flexible, wearable fabric.
Creating a new use for a product can make you think differently about the original materials. The lamp (5) and earrings (6) do not disguise the fact that they have been made out of a product which had a previous existence but celebrate it.
Creating the same type of object from recycled plastics can be done at an industrial level like the Zak! tableware pieces (7) and 100% recycled bottle (8); or at a hand-crafted level like this bag (9) made from crocheted strips of carrier bag.