When plastic came onto the market and steadily grew to popularity during 1960, the technology changed the way we stored things. Plastic was made to endure, but when you use a plastic item, you’re more likely to get rid of it than you are to keep it. Print Your City launched Zero Waste Lab in Thessaloniki, Greece, is offering an innovative solution to the plastic waste that fills our landfills: urban furniture.
People that call Thessaloniki home can take their plastic waste and have it turned into urban furniture.
New Raw Founders Panos Sakkas and Foteini Setaki say, “Plastic has a design failure. It is designed to last forever, 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.”
Using a large-scale 3D printer, functional street furniture is created out of the extra plastic. The very first prototypes of the furniture were 3D printed last year, taking 12 hours to print, and using 220 lb of ground up plastic. Realizing how effective this could be, New Raw constructed the Zero Waste Lab in partnership with Coca-Cola.
The lab not only serves as an educational tool for the locals, but it gives them the chance to design furniture for their neighborhoods. A press release for the lab says, “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.”
Since the website launch for the project in December 2018, more than 3,000 designs have been submitted. New Raw is hopeful in their quest to recycle 4 tons of plastic waste while the project is up and running.