Innovation That Matters

Top 10 innovations fighting plastic waste

From credit cards and shopping bags to hair combs and water bottles, plastic has been integrated into every aspect of our lives. However, the manufactured material is leaving a harmful imprint upon our environment. As more businesses from all over the world announce their commitment to eliminating all single-use plastics from their operations, products and supply chain, we have selected 10 new innovative examples that bring about new ways of recycling plastic. Note: in order to read the listed articles, a Springwise Access account is required.

3D-printed public furniture is fully recyclable

Changes in a city’s population, employment levels and transportation all have an impact on the neighbourhood level. With governments urging communities to come together on issues involving conservation and sustainability, a new design project encourages citizens to co-operate while still upholding efforts for a greater need to recycle.

Read more about Print Your City »

Beach plastic repurposed into sleek kitchenware

We have all heard of the garbage islands that float on our oceans and are continuing to expand. An international team of renowned designers is trying to raise awareness on the issue of plastic waste by turning the plastic into functional and aesthetically pleasing objects.

Read more about Marine Debris Bakelite Collection »

Biomaterial created in the fight against pollution

Product designers are starting to think of new ways to apply sustainability and natural alternatives into the manufacturing process. A new biodegradable material that, unlike plastic will not take years to degrade, might present new hope in the fight against plastic waste and air pollution.

Read more about Restology »

Compostable seaweed straws can be eaten after use

It is estimated that up to half a billion plastic straws are improperly discarded after each use. What’s more is over half of single-use plastic straws end up in our oceans causing devastating impact upon protected conservation landscapes and wildlife. The chemical make-up of polymers in a plastic straw is much harder to break down as the chemicals are knitted closer together. With this in mind, a new startup company is looking to replace single-use plastic straws with an edible version that also biodegrades rapidly.

Read more about LOLISTRAW »

Fight against plastic boosted with food that acts as tableware

After being rated the second biggest contributor to ocean plastics after China, Indonesia has recently joined a United Nations-led cleanup drive. Joining the war on plastic, Jakarta-based startup Evoware is creating packaging that can be eaten whilst increasing the business for local seaweed farmers.

Read more about Evoware »

Graduate creates apparel from plastic shopping bags

700 billion plastic grocery bags are produced every year and typically these bags are not recycled. Why not turning them into clothing? This is what a young graduate is experimenting with following her mission to tackle issues of sustainability within fast fashion and textile production.

Read more about Pälemer »

New shelters aid refugees with recycled plastics

With war conflicts and extreme climates threatening the displacement of refugees, new ways of recycling plastic waste could contribute to the construction of shelters to elevate poor living conditions for refugees. An international project is taking strong ambitious steps to phase out homelessness among refugees and protect the poorest and most vulnerable members of society.

Read more about Storm Board »

Old fishing nets recycled into games and sports equipment

Efforts to educate and raise awareness of plastic pollution in our oceans has become increasingly prevalent as it poses a significant threat to marine mammals and fish, which ingest the plastic or get entangled in nets. Researchers have found that at least 10 percent of the garbage that ends up in the world’s oceans comes from discarded fishing nets either lost by commercial fishing vessels or discarded in the process. To highlight this fact and the importance of ocean cleanup, a new game educates and calls to attention this problem.

Read more about Jenga Ocean »

Reusable smart cups help London coffee shops recycle

According to the environmental audit committee report, 2.5 billion coffee cups are thrown away each year in the United Kingdom, of which less than 0.25 percent are recycled. To boost customer awareness on this issue, the British government has announced recent plans to cut back on landfill waste by introducing an extra 25 pence charge on takeaway coffee cups. With a hope to see a ban on all disposable cups in the near future, a new subscription service that works with multiple brands, allows customers to return their cups to any participating store.

Read more about Cup Club »

Smart water bottle helps users find nearest refill station

Over a million plastic bottles are purchased around the world every minute and according to environmental campaigners this number will increase by another 20 percent by 2021. With plastic causing a serious impact on climate change, an innovative product design and combined app creates a more convenient and sustainable way to drink water on the go.

Read more about Cosca »