More than half a million tons of plastic make its way to the ocean each year and by 2050 it is set to quadruple according to the World Wildlife Fund. Not being able to turn a blind eye to those outrageous amounts, Greek company Blue Cycle is determined to make a change. They have their goal set on clearing out ocean waste and using it to create something new. Using 3D scanners the company is transforming fishing nets and other products into designer furniture.
— We currently collect the waste from more than 38 locations in Greece and hope to expand our network to offer national coverage as Greece has the largest fishing fleet in the EU, Eirini Avgoustaki at Blue Cycle explains.
Blue Cycle collects plastic through its own cleanups with the help of diving teams. Moreover, they also get material from other non-government organizations and waste from fish farms that otherwise would have ended up in the landfill.
The discarded waste is turned into pellets that then can be used for 3D printing at the Blue Cycle factory. The waste consists of the materials polyamide, nylon, polypropylene and polyethene, these are durable plastics that are easy to transform into other forms and functions. Blue Cycle also sells the pellets to other companies with similar aspirations, so that they can produce their own products.
The different collections consist of stools, benches, sunbeds, bigger plates, vases, trays and coffee tables. Every piece is unique since it is custom-made, with the colour choice entirely depending on which waste it is made from. The furniture and other products have the characteristics of 3D printed products, being curved, with vertical lines and gradients. Blue Cycle sells worldwide.
— I think plastic has a bad reputation but I don’t think it’s bad material. The problem is when it’s single-used, Suzanna Laskaridis says, one of the founders of Blue Cycle.
Being a circular economy company they strive towards endless circularity for their products, as far as it is possible. The company urges people to hand in their Blue Cycle products again when they have reached their end date, where they can be melted down and turned into something completely new.