WASTED is a neighbourhood project by Francesca Miazzo’s CITIES Foundation; a foundation that develops local solutions for global problems. One of those problems is plastic waste.
The issue of plastic waste is very complex. For example: Did you know that there are different forms of plastic with different levels of toxicity? Did you know that you couldn’t recycle all plastics? Did you know about the enormous ‘islands’ of tiny bits of plastic drifting in the ocean? Awareness is starting to grow worldwide, but it is often the low-income, low level of education-households that don’t have the means to know about or to look for sustainable alternatives.
Targeting three prominent neighbourhoods in Noord, where pollution, crime, and poverty are higher than in other parts of the city, WASTED will be a community laboratory for small-scale reprocessing of plastic waste in the Noorderpark: “The WASTED Laboratory generates new plastic products and production methods in the neighbourhood by working with the local community to collect and reprocess disposed plastic, and collaborating with designers to co-create new materials.”
The Design Club
First step: Invite designers to come up with feasible, low-tech ideas and processes on how to upcycle the plastic waste collected from the neighbourhood. After an exhausting week drenched in fumes of melted plastic they were able to present the first results last week: a durable, multifunctional, easy-to-use building block that can be put together to create different objects. Think of outdoor furniture for the park, playgrounds, and decorations.
A Long Way to Go
The first results are promising, but the WASTED laboratory has a long way to go. In the upcoming months they will start collaborating with local schools, they will implement a reward system for the community to start collecting plastic waste, and eventually they will start reprocessing the plastic. As Francesca says: “Like every global issue the problem of plastic waste is too complex to be resolved. So we are fully aware that WASTED cannot be a solution. But it can be a first step towards creating awareness and more balance in the consumption of plastic.”
Got some plastic to spare? Collect it, get involved and pay them a visit! They’re also looking for new team members.
Check their website to stay up to date on upcoming events: citiesthemagazine.com