Making plastic waste into durable and practical furniture

October 29th, 2010 by Richard Lord

All over the world creative people are coming up with ways of dealing with the millions of tons of plastic thrown away each year.

In Chile, creative designer Rodrigo Alonso, has devised a way of using hard-to-recycle plastic from electronic devices, toys, drink trays, and stadium seats etc. to produce functional and durable furniture.

The raw material for creative furniture and other practical objects (click to expand)

The hard plastic waste, which is difficult to separate and recycle, is chipped and placed in a polyhedron mould where it is slowly and evenly heated using a rotational moulding technique.

Chipped hard plastic - the raw material for the rotational moulding technique (click image to expand)

This slow and even heating melts and distributes the scrap plastic pieces to produce a solid form such as a plastic rubbish bin or a plastic seat, which is practical and durable.

The rotational mould being evenely heated to melt and distribute the plastic (click image to expand)

The flat faces of the moulds are designed for simplicity, to use less energy, and use less materials to reduce cost.  The moulds are irregular polyhedrons with irregular polygon faces.

The rotational moulding technique is used to make furniture for the urban environment – the shopping mall, an outside terrace or the home.

The final reformed plastic product is entirely sustainable because when the product reaches the end of its life it can be re-crushed and remoulded to form a new object.  This illustrates the Cradle to Cradle concept expressed by William McDonough and Michael Braungart.

The line of durable furniture and rubbish bins made from plastic scrap is currently being sold by Fahneu.

Plastic rubbish bins made from plastic rubbish (click image to expand)

Cristobal Murillo Donoso, CEO of Müsuc, the company that produces Rodrigo Alonso’s designs, sits on a plastic stool created from plastic rubbish (click image to expand)

Making plastic rubbish into durable, conceptual and beautiful pieces of furniture (click image to expand)

For more information contact Cristóbal Murillo Donoso on tel +56 2 8955094 or visit the Müsuc website.

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