Zero Waste Lab Turns Plastic Waste into Multi-Functional Furniture

The Print Your City initiative has helped residents of Thessaloniki, Greece turn their plastic waste into beautiful urban furniture using 3D printing technology.

Header Picture © Print Your City

Thessaloniki residents are in luck as the second-largest Greek city has been selected by Coca-Cola to become part of its Print Your City initiative. The aim is to turn collected plastic garbage into beautiful and functional city furniture. The people in charge are Rotterdam-based design studio The New Raw.

The newly-opened Zero Waste Lab uses publicly collected plastic waste and donations by residents who can in turn come to the lab and watch their trash transform.

Since most plastic is just tossed and doesn’t degrade which requires new plastic production, there is a huge discrepancy between used and recycled plastic.

Narrowing this gap is vital for the health of our planet because “Plastic has a design failure. It is designed to last forever, but often we use it once and then throw it away. With Print Your City, we endeavour to show a better way of using plastic in long-lasting and high-value applications,” said Panos Sakkas and Foteini Setaki, founders of The New Raw.

From Garbage to Furniture in No Time

“Sounds good in theory but how would they even approach this huge undertaking?” is what you might ask. Well, The New Raw’s Zero Waste Lab has a recycling facility installed on-site, turning collected plastic garbage into plastic flakes.

The flakes are then again utilized by a 3D printer to build stylish furniture creating what comes closest to a perfect waste loop while also making the city more livable.

The New Raw – Print Your City: Robotic 3D printing with recycled plastics from The New Raw on Vimeo.

Experience the way of plastic waste to finished 3D-printed furniture in under a minute!

Print Your City Democratizes Design and Location Decisions

The grand aim is to this way recycle up to 4 tons of plastic waste which seems to be more than feasible, considering the initiative has already turned more than 800 kilos into urban furniture.

In order to create an even bigger appeal to the people of Thessaloniki, Print Your City involved them not only in the design process taking place on their website but also in deciding on where to finally put the 3D-printed plant-pot-bicycle-stand-bench-hybrids. HANTH square finally came out as the clear-cut winner, so in case you’re visiting Thessaloniki anytime soon, that’s the place to go for 3D printing enthusiasts.

We’re more than excited for this project as it brings a global company together with local residents creating something beautiful and sustainable using 3D printing. Have you ever heard of a similar project? Share it with us in the comments!