Coca-Cola, the world’s biggest soft drinks group, has partnered with a small environmental business to establish a plastic waste recycling hub.
Architects Panos Sakkas and Foteini Setaki began the New Raw studio in Rotterdam in the Netherlands to salvage and make use of discarded plastic.
The company’s Print Your City enterprise ground up plastic waste and converted it into functional street furniture with a large-scale 3D printer.
The New Raw founders said: “Plastic has a design failure. It is designed to last for ever, but often we use it once and then throw it away. With Print Your City we endeavor to show a better way of using plastic in long-lasting and high-value applications.”
New Raw and Coca-Cola set up the Zero Waste Lab in the Greek port city of Thessaloniki as an education center. Local people are able to learn about plastic recycling, deliver waste plastic and design furniture for their neighbourhoods.
When the center was opened New Raw announced: “Citizens can shape the designs and uses of each unique object according to their needs.
“They can choose which public space will house their piece, as well as the shape, color and specific integrated functions that will promote a healthy and environment-friendly lifestyle in the city. Each object can feature a bike rack or a vaulting horse, a tree pot or even a dog feeding bowl or a bookcase.
“What’s more, the geometries are based on ergonomic curvatures that accommodate a relaxed body posture.”
To date more than 3,000 designs have been submitted by locals and the first pieces of furniture are about to be installed in Hanth Park in Thessaloniki.
The Zero Waste Lab will run until May, by which time New Raw hopes to have recycled four tons of plastic waste.
The Swiss-based multinational Nestlé is phasing out plastic straws and hard plastics as part of its objective to use only recyclable and reusable materials by 2025.
In February Nestlé, the world’s second largest food and drinks group, will replace plastic straws with alternatives, including paper items, and will shortly introduce new packaging designs to reduce littering. Products including Nesquik and Smarties will become plastic-free in 2019 and the Milo powdered drink will be in paper-based pouches by 2020.
Some of the innovations result from the Institute of Packaging Sciences that Nestlé founded in 2018. Future ventures include a campaign to prevent plastic leaking into the oceans in south-east Asia, in which Nestlé will join forces with Project STOP, a €4m ($4.52m, £3.64m) initiative from the Austrian polyethylene and polypropylene manufacturer to promote sustainable and low-cost waste systems.
John Howell, Chief of Thought Leadership and Editorial Director, is a co-founder of 3BL Media, the parent company of Triple Pundit, begun in 2009. Howell oversees original editorial content procurement and creation. He is also the author of the weekly Brands Taking Stands Newsletter. He has written and edited for Elle, Artforum, High Times, the New York Times Magazine, and the LA Times. Howell is based in Wonalancet, NH.