about the collection
Plastics are a much loved and praised material in the creative industry, because of their versatility in characteristics and application. However, due to the beauty, flexible nature and cost-effectiveness of plastic, the current generation has to deal with the harmful effects of overproduction, prompting designers and manufacturers to reduce and re-think the use of newly manufactured plastics.
With >recycled plastics in process< the Dutch design collective envisions and the Belgian plastics recycling company ECO-oh! demonstrate how experimental and close collaboration between designer and industry positively affects the development of materials, and what role it can play in the future of recycled plastics.
ECO-oh! distinguishes itself by not only recycling easily processable plastics—such as PET—but also finding ways to incorporate the most contaminated and complex types of plastics back into the cycle. A broad search in researching innovative uses for this group, ECO-oh! developed
a flexible ‘mat’ on a basis of washed plastic flakes mixed with polyester fibers that, by heating, can be transformed in a composite board material. A technically inventive way to embed the complex plastics in between superposing consecutive layers, while giving rise to a high-performance material.
The collaboration between envisions and ECO-oh! derived this ingenious semi-finished product of ECO-oh! Nine envisionaires were invited to thoroughly analyse each single component, and gather distinctive properties that would lead to new ideas for the development of this material. The interventions of the envisionaires focused on malleability, visual change or the minimal inclusion of material, to make the mat suitable—given its characteristic properties—for both the interior and exterior context. Therefore >recycled plastics in process< marks the first step towards finding applications for complex plastics, that bear an aesthetic and intrinsic appeal and can be processed on an industrial scale.