Innovation That Matters

Plastic ocean pollution | Photo source Shutterstock

Beach plastic repurposed into sleek kitchenware


Supercyclers design collective has enlisted designers to create attractive kitchen tabletop objects made entirely of reclaimed ocean plastics from Australian beaches.

As garbage islands continue to grow and governments begin efforts to limit the amount of plastic waste being dumped into the oceans, we’ve seen efforts aimed at reclaiming some of this to not only remove it from the ocean but also to further its usefulness, such as building blocks for construction, and now beach litter is being repurposed as stylish kitchenware.


The Supercyclers design collective has brought together an international team of renowned designers to create pieces of functional but aesthetically pleasing objects in order to raise awareness of the issues of plastic waste, given the establishment of several Pacific ocean-based garbage islands consisting predominantly of non-biodegradable plastics that get dumped on to beaches. The range, called the Marine Debris Bakelite Collection, consists of 100-percent recycled plastic picked up by partners Ocean Collection from Australian beaches, and a diverse selection of cups and bowls, chef’s tweezers and a bento box, which was the first piece exhibited as a successful proof-of-concept design at Tokyo Design Week in 2015. Each piece is made by heating and shaping the plastic over metal castes, resulting in a marble look that references bakelite designs, and built to stand the rigours of kitchen use. Parts of the collection were made available from crowdfunding platform, though the campaign has now ended.

We’ve already seen how scientists in the UK are providing alternatives to plastic microbeads, the tiny plastic particles that are entering the ocean’s food chain — how else can businesses develop profitable technologies that don’t end up floating in oceanic garbage islands?




Download PDF