United States – Major pop stars are helping to raise awareness of plastic pollution and promote products made with a recycled plastic content. Musician and entrepreneur will.i.am is collaborating with Coca-Cola on a 3D printer that uses recycled PET bottles. Meanwhile, singer Pharrell Williams has won a prestigious Cannes design prize for a new line of denim clothing made of ocean plastic waste.
‘It’s great that celebrities with significant power to influence young people are coming up with designs that make use of recycled materials,’ says Nigel Hunton, ceo of MBA Polymers, which processes more than 110 000 tonnes of plastic waste annually from post-consumer durable goods such as cars, electronics and construction waste.
‘They can play an important role in making products with recycled content desirable. However, ultimately, what we need to make substantial progress on reducing plastic waste are cost-effective, scalable technologies that can process large quantities of plastic and transform them into new materials,′ he argues.
The new 3D printer has been launched under the EKOCYCLE brand, a joint initiative by will.i.am and Coca-Cola to make products incorporating recycled plastic ‘cool’. It allows users to create fashion and music accessories with a printer filament made partly from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles.
In 2013, will.i.am told Jo Confino, an executive editor of ‘The Guardian’, that ‘we should make “to plastic” a verb’ when describing his ambitions to help people see plastic waste as a commodity. He explained that he had actively sought Coca-Cola’s support for the EKOCYCLE project, which has now expanded to include brand partnerships with Levi Strauss, Adidas and the US National Basketball Association. In order to become a brand partner, companies must prove their products use at least 25% recycled PET.
The ‘RAW for the Oceans’ line of denim clothing from Pharrell Williams won first prize at the inaugural Cannes Product Design Grand Prix. The new line is the result of a collaboration between the Bionic Yarn company and the Vortex Project, and will be in stores from September. The judges described it as a visionary project that stood out for its form, function and innovation, as well as its sustainability ambitions.
For more information, visit: www.ekocycle.com
Source: MBA Polymers
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