The New Raw – plastic
Transforming the plastic packaging rubbish of an island
from a source of imported waste to a source of exported raw material
“The New Raw-plastic” is a hands-on workshop that investigates the capacity of digital fabrication techniques to provide a sustainable solution to plastic pollution. The first workshop took place in September 2015 in the Greek island of Syros. It investigated how 3d printing can be a catalyst in areas of high insularity by turning their plastic waste into raw material for cultural entrepreneurship.
Every summer, thousands of people around the world travel to Greek islands to spend their summer vacations. The population of these small islands instantly increases 300% or higher than their normal numbers. More people bring more plastic waste which at best case is collected and shipped back to a central recycling facility in Athens, but in most cases it stays on the island and pollutes the beautiful beaches and natural environment.
One of the most dominant plastic waste in the islands is the plastic water bottles: the increased daytime mobility under the hot summer sun, combined with the insufficient water system of most of the islands raise a lot the demand for PET bottles of water. They become a very popular single use commodity and consequently a very dominant plastic waste product.
But what if we could transform the plastic packaging rubbish of an island from a source of imported waste to a source of exported raw material?
During “The New Raw – plastic” , 27 participants from the fields of industrial design, architecture, fine arts and environmentalism spent a week in which they observed and experienced the local conditions of plastic waste treatment in the Greek island of Syros. The participants recycled on site plastic waste and were introduced to the production technique of 3D printing and circular economy methodologies. At the end, they produced 5 design and business concepts that made use of the discarded PET water bottles as a raw material for 3d printing .
Alongside plastic recycling , the concepts focused on how singular and decentralised production of 3d printing can stimulate cultural entrepreneurship in areas of high insularity. The results combined personalization and optimization of products with social engagement and environmental awareness. They covered a wide range of 3d printing applications for the production of personalised souvenirs , performance driven building materials, collectively built public monuments, custom made cat houses and multipurpose recycle bins .
• RE_STOOL / Compression stool for plastic waste
A design for a new type of bin in the shape of a stool. RE_STOOL compresses plastic waste by using the energy of a simple everyday action: sitting .
• MISSING PART / construction material for building cracks
A temporary intervention to the cracks of the building shell that acts a s a removable, adjustable and recyclable protective surface. MISSING PART follows the exact shape of any cavity ( thanks to the use of 3D scanning) and accordingly provides either structural support or protection from humidity or deterioration.
• PET for Pets / community cat shelters
A design of 3D printed house concept for the expanding population of stray cats in the island. PET for Pets is made from recycled plastic that is collected from the local community and can be customised for any location of the town.
• ReCYCLAD3D / 3d printing hub for recycled plastic
A concept of a central 3D printing Hub in the island of Syros, aiming to cover local and touristic basic needs of production out of recycled plastic materials. The first promotional product of ReCYCLAD3D is a pair of 3D cinema glasses to be used in the annual film and animation festivals of the island.
• BOTTLE UP / recycling reward system
A concept of a campaign the motivates children to recycle plastic. BOTTLE UP rewards children with a personal piece from a large 3D printed puzzle which forms a new collective , public monument for the town of Ermoupolis ( Syros).
The New Raw – plastic was a collaboration of The New Raw and Better Future Factory and was made possible thanks to creative industries fund NL.
The New Raw (TNR) is a Rotterdam( NL) based design studio that in¬vestigates the merging fields of digital fabrication and material resourcing. We explore our concepts in collaboration with a vibrant and multidisciplinary network of Dutch and international experts, partners, stakeholders, users and enthusiasts. Through a series of designs, workshops and public events TNR focuses on the application of emerging technologies on waste flows of various materials. Our aim is to explore new links between collectively conducted research and hands-on experience.
The New Raw – Plastic