Art & Culture

Print Your City Turns Recycled Waste Into Furniture

Andrew Parker
Nov 19, 2019

The residents of Thessaloniki, Greece, now have a cool option to recycle their plastic waste into 3D printed furniture. The initiative will be available at a new laboratory set up by Rotterdam studio The New Raw. The New Raw created the Zero Waste Lab as the latest enterprise of its plastic recycling initiative, Print Your City. The initiative is working in collaboration with Coca Cola. Print Your City is a totally unique, green-forward project that aims to make street furniture from plastic waste. Pretty forward-thinking stuff! It allows residents to use its recycling facility to choose what their plastic waste is turned into. With a robotic 3D-printing machine it will transform the sorted plastic into furniture. Users can also customize the furniture via a website, choosing colors and functionalities and also selecting which public space in their city they would like to see it in.

The furniture is made primarily from PP and PE plastics (polyethylene and polypropylene). Furniture options include a planter, a bike rack, a feeding bowl for dogs, a bookcase, and more. Once a user chooses a design, the website will tell the user how much recycled plastic is needed to make the object. For example, a triangle-shaped bench with a library and an urban garden would require 198 pounds of recycled plastic to build. “Plastic has a design failure. It is designed to last forever, but often we use it once and then throw it away,” said The New Raw founders Panos Sakkas and Fonteini Setaki. “With Print Your City, we endeavour to show a better way of using plastic in long lasting and high value applications.”