Circular Design Project - Turning waste plastic into valuable materials

We were approached by Nic Bishop, Fonterra’s Environmental Manager, with a unique collaboration project that focused on sustainability and distributed manufacturing. Fonterra had a good system for encouraging the recycling of their packaging materials. They have a whole committed to making sure that they are actively moving towards becoming a sustainable co-op.

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The Challenge

How might we transform recycled milk bottles into beautiful and desirable products? Essentially, could we add a another layer to Fonterra’s efforts to create and develop a circular economy approach that provided value to local communities.

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Solution

What if, instead of creating products with a relatively small user base (slip sheets) we could impact the homes and lives of everyday New Zealander’s?

We suggested turning the bottles into sheets that could be milled, cut and transformed into bespoke furniture pieces.

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Results

We are currently in a capacity building phase, building the oven, sheet press and cnc machine from scratch. We have prototyped some furniture pieces that are currently being trialled as flat-pack furniture products.

With environmental and social impact as our key drivers, we can turn scalable ideas into reality.

Some of our recycled products