The Pretty Plastic Plant is a factory which transforms your household scrap into beautiful building materials

Plastic waste can be much prettier

Published in Climate Action & Recycling by

Spatial designers Reinder Bakker and Hester van Dijk have always shown a special interest in creating products from discarded materials. Their latest co-production with Bureau SLA is a self-built Pretty Plastic Plant, a collection site designed to upcycle plastic waste instead of downcycling it to inferior products.

From waste to wonder

While recycling plastic is becoming more common, there is still a world to win when it comes to quality and aesthetics. Bakker and van Dijk, who work together under the name Overtreders W, have jumped on the opportunity with a simple solution. By meticulously sorting plastic household waste according to type and colour before it’s processed, the end result can become stronger and brighter than the original product.

Anyone who brings their plastic garbage to this hands-on recycling factory can witness the whole transformation process from scrap to product. When the sorting, washing and grinding is done, the injection mould machine melds it into new products. In the process, the colour acquires an additional marble effect owing to small irregularities. The hexagonal tiles the designers have been making, and the impressive structures they have built using these tiles, demonstrate that upcycling plastic waste is both good for the planet and easy on the eyes. And any project which attaches value to sustainable processes deserves our support.

A People’s Pavilion at Dutch Design Week 2017

Good thing, then, that Overtreders W are planning another exciting project inspired by secondhand materials. In another collaboration with Bureau SLA, the architecture office of Peter Assche, the duo will design and build a temporary People’s Pavilion made entirely from borrowed materials for the World Design Event during the Dutch Design Week 2017. Incidentally, the WDCD Climate Action Challenge will also host an exhibition at the World Design Event – stay updated on the latest news by following #climateactionchallenge and keeping an eye on the website.

A version of this story, written by Willemijn de Jonge, first appeared in the WDCD publication: Good News for the Planet – 31 Brilliant Ideas for Climate Action (available for order). All images from Overtreders W.


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