Environment

Plastic Whale makes office furniture from plastic waste

Plastic Whale makes office fur...
Plastic Whale's latest venture transforms waste plastic into high-end office furniture
Plastic Whale's latest venture transforms waste plastic into high-end office furniture
View 17 Images
Plastic waste from Amsterdam's canals is transformed into boats that Plastic Whale takes out to collect more trash
1/17
Plastic waste from Amsterdam's canals is transformed into boats that Plastic Whale takes out to collect more trash
Plastic Whale has netted more than 100,000 plastic bottles and over 2,000 bags of plastic waste from Amsterdam's canals
2/17
Plastic Whale has netted more than 100,000 plastic bottles and over 2,000 bags of plastic waste from Amsterdam's canals
More than 11,000 people have volunteered to help it remove plastic from Amsterdam's canals since Plastic Whale began in 2011
3/17
More than 11,000 people have volunteered to help it remove plastic from Amsterdam's canals since Plastic Whale began in 2011
Plastic Whale's latest venture transforms waste plastic into high-end office furniture
4/17
Plastic Whale's latest venture transforms waste plastic into high-end office furniture
The Plastic Whale Circular Furniture has been designed by Lama, using whales as inspiration
5/17
The Plastic Whale Circular Furniture has been designed by Lama, using whales as inspiration
The design of Plastic Whale's 4 meter long boardroom table was inspired by a surfacing whale
6/17
The design of Plastic Whale's 4 meter long boardroom table was inspired by a surfacing whale
The Plastic Whale office chair is said to have the look at a whale's tail
7/17
The Plastic Whale office chair is said to have the look at a whale's tail
The Plastic Whale boardroom table features a raised ridge along its center
8/17
The Plastic Whale boardroom table features a raised ridge along its center
The Plastic Whale office chair is made from PET felt, ply, beech or oak and cast iron
9/17
The Plastic Whale office chair is made from PET felt, ply, beech or oak and cast iron
Barnacles found on the skin of a whale inform the shape of the Plastic Whale lamp
10/17
Barnacles found on the skin of a whale inform the shape of the Plastic Whale lamp
The Plastic Whale acoustic wall panels are made from PET felt and can be had with or without LED backlighting
11/17
The Plastic Whale acoustic wall panels are made from PET felt and can be had with or without LED backlighting
The Plastic Whale Circular Furniture lamps are made from PET felt and use energy-efficient LED filament bulbs
12/17
The Plastic Whale Circular Furniture lamps are made from PET felt and use energy-efficient LED filament bulbs
The Plastic Whale boardroom table features a raised ridge along its center
13/17
The Plastic Whale boardroom table features a raised ridge along its center
Barnacles found on the skin of a whale inform the shape of the Plastic Whale lamp
14/17
Barnacles found on the skin of a whale inform the shape of the Plastic Whale lamp
The Plastic Whale Circular Furniture range is made using waste plastic recovered from Amsterdam canals
15/17
The Plastic Whale Circular Furniture range is made using waste plastic recovered from Amsterdam canals
The Plastic Whale trash collection team
16/17
The Plastic Whale trash collection team
The Plastic Whale boardroom table is 4 meter long, 1.4 m wide and 0.75 m high, large enough to accommodate eight Circular Furniture chairs
17/17
The Plastic Whale boardroom table is 4 meter long, 1.4 m wide and 0.75 m high, large enough to accommodate eight Circular Furniture chairs

Plastic waste is a huge problem, both on land and in the oceans and waterways. A company in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, has been taking to the city's canals for a few years and scooping up plastic trash in nets. That waste is then transformed into boats that carry more "plastic fishermen" onto the canals to collect even more plastic. Now Plastic Whale has found another use for this floating environmental nightmare – office furniture.

Plastic Whale describes itself as the world's first plastic fishing company, and more than 11,000 people have volunteered to help it remove plastic from Amsterdam's canals since the firm began its cleanup operation in 2011. Over 100,000 plastic bottles and more than 2,000 bags of plastic waste have been removed, and 10 boats made from plastic trash now regularly take net-holding crews onto the canals to fish for more plastic waste.

Plastic Whale has netted more than 100,000 plastic bottles and over 2,000 bags of plastic waste from Amsterdam's canals
Plastic Whale has netted more than 100,000 plastic bottles and over 2,000 bags of plastic waste from Amsterdam's canals

For the recently launched Circular Furniture project, Plastic Whale has partnered with furniture maker Vepa and the Lama design studio to make high-end office furniture – currently comprising a boardroom table, a chair, lamps and acoustic wall panels.

The top of the 4 meter long, 1.4 m wide and 0.75 m high (13 x 4.6 x 2.4 ft) table was inspired by a surfacing whale and features a raised ridge along its center, and is made from a sandwich of recycled PET, FSC-certified birch ply and metal plating. The spine-like legs are made from FSC-certified oak with metal bars inbetween.

The Plastic Whale Circular Furniture range is made using waste plastic recovered from Amsterdam canals
The Plastic Whale Circular Furniture range is made using waste plastic recovered from Amsterdam canals

The shape of the office chair is said to resemble the tail of a whale. The bucket seat has a cast iron base made from waste from the Vepa factory, a pressed and recycled PET felt back and a seat shell of ply with oak veneer top layer. The cushion is made using dust waste and wrapped in a cover fashioned from recycled plastic bottles, and FSC-certified beech or oak legs raise it to sitting height.

Barnacles found on the skin of a whale inform the shape of the lamp, which is made from PET felt and makes use of energy-efficient LED filament bulbs. PET felt is also used to make the acoustic panels, which can be had with or without LED backlighting.

The Plastic Whale acoustic wall panels are made from PET felt and can be had with or without LED backlighting
The Plastic Whale acoustic wall panels are made from PET felt and can be had with or without LED backlighting

All of the office furniture has been designed in such a way that, at the end of its useful life, it can be broken down for reuse or upcycled to make something new.

Amsterdam seems to be something of a hotbed of recent activity for recycling plastic to make furniture, in the case of last year's Print Your City! to 3D print curvy street furniture.

Some of the money raised from the Plastic Whale Circular Furniture project will be used to fund local plastic cleanup initiatives around the world, hopefully helping to turn the tide on a massive global problem. There's more information in the video below.

Source: Plastic Whale

PLASTIC WHALE CIRCULAR FURNITURE

2 comments
Riaanh
Well done guys and galls. Goes to show why the Dutch are amongst the happiest nations in the world.
Tom Lee Mullins
I think that is both cool and green. I hope this idea spreads to other countries.