6 Amsterdam pioneers changing the future of recycled plastic
Only 15 percent of our plastic is recycled. We can do better than that. These six innovative Amsterdam-based sustainable companies show you how they process recycled plastic into unique design and architecture.
Plastic Whale: Amsterdam canal plastic processed into furniture
Floating plastic waste is something you not only find in the big oceans. We also have a lot of plastic soup in the Amsterdam canals. Plastic Whale fishes out this plastic and turns it into circular office furniture together with Dutch design studio LAMA and furniture manufacturer VEPA.
The design of the furniture is inspired by - you guessed it - whales. The recycled plastic is also used for their ‘plastic fishing’ boats with which they fish waste from Amsterdam's canals. You can also help to fish plastic from the canals. Plastic Whale organizes plastic fishing activities that you can do with your family or your company.
Overtreders W: colorful facade cladding of shampoo bottles
This design studio from Amsterdam believes in a world in which waste is a material source. Since 2015, Overtreders W have been working on a special project with agency SLA: Pretty Plastic Plant. Facade materials made from recycled plastic that comes from all kinds of products such as shampoo bottles, yogurt containers, olive buckets, bottle caps and discarded garden chairs.
The colorful slates can be used as artistic facade cladding. They are working with plastic recycling factory Govaplast to see how they can make the slates fireproof so that they comply with all regulations. This innovative design agency has many more circular and ‘zero waste’ projects, such as a building made entirely of borrowed material.
Polimeer: stylish interior design made from recycled plastic
When you first see the products of Dutch design studio Polimeer, you don't expect it to be made from recycled plastic. The material has the stylish appearance of marble, but comes from disposable products from the Netherlands such as plastic bags and packaging films.
Polimeer wants to show that recycled plastic is a material that you can use to make beautiful craft products. This Amsterdam design studio creates custom design for companies and hotels, but also for consumers. Recently they launched a new collection with sustainable furniture, home decoration and lighting made from recycled plastic.
Van Plestik: circular design with plastic in a 3D printer
When the first 3D printer was created thirty years ago, we were all still a bit skeptical about what this device could mean for humanity. Now the 3D printer has become a source of innovation. The Amsterdam-based company Van Plestik developed a 3D printer that recycles plastic waste and transforms it into a circular design.
From chairs, tables and plant pots to gigantic statues such as a large Plastic Madonna. Together with artist Peter Smith they are working on the largest 3D printed statue in the world. When the sculpture is ready, the Plastic Madonna travels to all major cities in the Netherlands. In every city Van Plestik will organize all kinds of activities around plastic recycling.
Dutchfiets: plastic (re)cycling
In the Netherlands we love bicycles. What if we could make all our bicycles from recycled waste? This is exactly what Dutchfiets are doing with their innovative bicycles. The bikes are made of 100% recyclable plastic. Both the frame and the wheels are made of plastic. A nice advantage of this bicycle over a regular steel bike is that it doesn’t rust. Also it’s very light and cheap, which makes it a good investment.
Interesting about this design is that the lights are integrated into the frame. Dutchfiets gives an alternative to the regular steel bicycles that will end up at the waste mountain and are aimed at short term profit. The bicycles can be recycled again which makes Dutchfiets a circular mobility concept. Dutchfiets started with a crowdfunding campaign and won the ‘Start-up of the year’ award in 2015.
Aectual: complete 3D-printed buildings made from recycled material
Plastic recycling is limitless, as long as you are innovative enough. Aectual's XL 3D robotic printers produce architectural elements for buildings, made from recycled and natural materials. From floors and wall panels to concrete stairs.
Thanks to this innovative production process, they can reduce the building material waste substantially. The 3D printer only uses what is needed, while in construction twenty percent of production ends in a waste container.
They also developed special software tools that give designers and companies the freedom to create custom designs for any type of building. In this way everyone can contribute to making the production of buildings and interiors more sustainable and cleaner.