Material World

Rachel Gill Hughson, Product Design Engineering year 3

Material World

The aim of the project was to take waste out of a linear stream and turn it into something that could work in a circular economy. This was something that I first found difficult, trying to find a waste that was from a previous use that was absolutely necessary and using it would not take it out a natural waste stream of bio degrading gave very little options of materials. This to me showed a fundamental error with linear systems that almost all of the waste was not essential to day to day life. I then decided to focus on a material that could engage people with the problem, make them stop and think about the alternative solutions.

With so many coffee cups being used every single day when a simple alternative of keep cups are available this is the route I decided to take. Partnering up with Gordon street Coffee shop in Glasgow Central Station I collected used coffee cups. These where then washed and soaked meaning that the plastic can me removed from the paper. This turned something that was originally unrecyclable into two parts that are. The paper pulp was then mixed with natural dyes and turned into paper. The paper created is completely compostable and with natural dyes can actually make the soil richer.

This gives a final material that is colourful and eye catching made not as a solution but an awareness of the problem of linear waste streams. The potential uses for this material are for prints and art pieces to raise awareness or sleeves round coffee cups as a gentle and beautiful reminded of the impacts of our unsustainable culture