Recycled plastic "will soon be the only choice"

A new generation of sustainably minded designers is pioneering ways of using recycled plastic as a raw material, as conc

For decades, "virgin plastic" has been used to produce everything from food packaging to furniture. But, as the environmental impact of this material becomes more apparent, an increasing number of designers are exploring alternatives.

Not only does recycled plastic offer a more sustainable solution, it is a material that is often free to source, and can be produced in a wide range of colours, patterns and textures.

"It's an amazing material, [in terms of] the things you can do with it, and it lasts super long" said Dave Hakkens, a Dutch designer who works almost exclusively with recycled plastic.

Bob Vos and Alessandro Iadarola, founders of sustainable design brand Polimeer, agree.

"Working with recycled plastic offers unlimited design opportunities, because of the variety of polymer compounds and processing techniques that can be used," the pair told Dezeen.

"In most cases, plastic can be found on the streets, or you can partner with businesses that like to donate their leftovers for free," they said. "This abundance of plastic in the environment creates an opportunity for young designers to start thinking."

World's plastic waste will exceed 12 billion tons by 2050

The global manufacture of plastic has increased exponentially over recent decades. According to the United Nations, the volume increased from 1.5 million tons of plastic in 1950, up to 300 millions tons of plastic in 2016.

Scientists have warned that, unless big global changes are introduced soon, the amount of plastic waste infiltrating the natural landscape will exceed 12 billion tons by 2050. Huge quantities of it are either in landfill or in the oceans, in clusters the size of countries, such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

FULL STORY by Amy Frearson for Dezeen

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Ultimately yes this could be the only thing