Using plastics materials once and then disposing of them into landfill is an inefficient use of valuable resources. Objects can be discretely made of recycled materials and look no different from products that use virgin materials, or from interesting recyclate which can become a design feature.
Made to look like concrete, the Durakerb (1) is a lightweight and environmentally friendly kerbstone. When it was first launched the aim was to offer ‘a kerb edge feature that provides an easier, safer, simpler, quicker, better and more sustainable solution that delivers equivalent performance to the traditional product.’ The material in this roll of loft insulation (2) is made from recycled plastic bottles (90%) with polyester bonding (10%). It is an efficient, cleaner alternative to the traditional glass fibre, free from floating fibres and therefore does not cause any itching or irritation to the installer.
Laura Anne Marsden’s 21st Century Ruff (3) is made from plastic bags worked in the 'Eternal lace' technique. This is a technique invented by the artist that combines hand-stitching and needle lacemaking with various heat processes to change the properties and appearance of the plastic bags. Kate Ward's bag (4) is made from over 70 plastic carrier bags, the orange areas from Sainsbury's bags, made from 50% recycled plastic, and the white ones from dry-cleaner bags.
Simon Lee’s electric guitar (5) has front and back plates made from recycled off cuts of industrial pipe turned into sheet by Smile Plastics. To create the recycled plastic sheet, Smile Plastics put a measured amount of flaked, sorted, waste plastics into a rectangular shaped mould which is then put into a hydraulic press. Through a process of heat and pressure, the individual flakes of plastic fuse together and take the shape of the mould. Most of Smile’s sheets are made of 100% waste plastic with no binding agents or resin; it is simply the combination of heat and pressure that transforms the flakes into solid boards.
This skateboard with a stylised fish shape made by Bureo (6) out of 30 feet of discarded fishing net. Bureo was set up in 2014 by three friends, who were interested in doing something to ease the environmental impact of plastics and prevent pollution in the sea. 10% of ocean pollution is made up of discarded fishing nets, other nets end up in landfill, and some are burnt. The Adidas Terrex Sleek boat shoes (7) are designed to be worn on a boat. These shoes are made in collaboration with Parley for the Oceans. Some of the yarn used features Parley Ocean Plastic which is made from recycled waste, intercepted before it reaches the ocean, from beaches and coastal communities.