Plastic waste is a huge problem, and the need for sustainable design is stronger than ever. These four companies and creatives show that the two issues can go hand in hand and that plastic can be a viable and interesting alternative to ceramic tiles.
This Finnish company was founded in 1990 and produces solid surfaces, bespoke units, and furniture out of a mix of up to 28% recycled plastic waste collected from manufacturing and waste management companies around both Sweden and Finland. Durat also use 100% renewable energy and their products are 100% recyclable, especially when returned to the company to be given a new life. You can read more about the company here.
Coldharbour Tiles was founded by Emily Packer and Jake Calhoun in an attempt to absorb some of the plastic waste that piles up endlessly worldwide. They collect high-density polyethylene (HDPE), plastics marked with the #2 code, usually used in household waste items such as bottle caps and shampoo bottles and then seperate them by colour. The end result is a hand-crafted, water-proof, highly-durable, insect, rot, and chemical resistant wall tile. Read more about the company here.
3. Enis Akiev
Surface experimenter extraordinaire Enis Akiev has made surfaces from many materials, including discarded plastics. Creating an unsual look, the waste is collected and heated to form a malleable ball that is then kneaded to produce a marbled effect. This is then formed and placed under pressure to cool. Read more about her work here.
Founded by Marten van Middelkoop and Joost Dingemans, this Rotterdam based company produces a terrazzo-type surface from recycled plastic. Each material is displayed with reference to the recycled products within them, and descriptions are given for consumers to understand where they have come from. Read more about them here.
A new post by Hanna Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, December 2020.