Rethinking Plastic – Trash or Treasure?

Dave Hakkens in collaboration with WASTED and deBijenkorf made a Precious Plastic window installation to transform the societal perceptions and start seeing plastic trash as treasure.

Plastic was thought to be a solution… It was created to allow product affordability, mobility, replication and mass production. This indeed came with multiple socioeconomic benefits. However, the vicious plastic industry following the linear ‘take-make-dispose’ pattern has grown uncontrollably and a cheap solution to boost affordability turned to be the premises of a longstanding environmental crisis.

In the last half a century plastic production increased by 20 times; every decade the amount of the produced plastic doubles. It is used in almost every part of our daily lives. Yet, eventually, an incredible amount of produced and used plastic ends up to be waste descending everywhere from urban public spaces to nature, and ultimately in every living body, including us ~8 million tons of plastic enter our oceans each year and shaped by ocean circulation, these huge masses of plastic waste naturally pose an immediate threat to our planet, our health and our society. It is estimated that in the decades to come there is going to be more plastic than fish in our oceans.

©UNEP, Cristophe Launay/Race for Water 2015

©UNEP, Cristophe Launay/Race for Water 2015

There are technical solutions suggesting how to clean oceans or recycle plastic domestically. Yet, not every smart solution is about technology; it is about people. Technology progresses daily, the know-how and advanced techniques for recycling have been in place for years already. However – some screws are still missing – only a very limited portion of the urban population makes the actual effort to separate waste and appreciate products made from recycled materials. That said, preventing plastic to be wrongly disposed is equally necessary as cleaning our natural environment and surroundings.

This leads to the core working methodology of CITIES as we invest energy into active research, community engagement, and initiation of locally specific yet sustainable solutions for global urban problems. Our underlying philosophy is based on co-creation and community-focused project development, which ultimately lead to a change of perceptions and human behavior. With respect to this democratic approach to project development, we began a collaboration with David Hakkens, a Dutch designer that developed the Precious Plastic project. The project not only introduces the value of plastic but also provides an open-source tool-kit how to construct a machine to recycle plastic waste, locally.

Dave Hakkens in collaboration with WASTED and deBijenkorf made a Precious Plastic window installation to transform the societal perceptions and start seeing plastic trash as treasure. The installation is located at the window of the deBijenkorf building (Dam 1, Amsterdam).

©DaveHakkens

©DaveHakkens

 

Created on 11 July 2017

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