A world without waste is not impossible. Introducing five visionary projects that reuse waste in their upcycling designs to save the environment with style and sustainability. Replication recommended!

Bureo: skate with a clean conscience

Skateboard by Bureo
Sustainable cruising with a skateboard by Bureo.
Photo: Bureo

Three guys, four powerful passions: skating, surfing, the sea, and sustainable design. That’s the essence of Bureo. Since 2012, Bureo has been turning old fishing nets into skateboards. Chilean fishermen provide the raw material, to be recycled and repurposed in California.

But the Bureo mission doesn’t stop at the finished skateboard. The three founders have a higher purpose: They want to raise attention and inspire others. Especially the next generation. Their message: Change is possible, even if it arrives on four wheels.

The Bureo founders holding a fishing net
Bureo turns old fishing nets into new boards.
Photo: Bureo

Kaffeeform: putting coffee grinds back into the cup

Coffee grinds are an excellent natural fertilizer. Yet there are even more potential uses for the by-product of your daily caffeine buzz. Berlin-based product designer Julian Lechner spent three years researching and experimenting with the gritty brown residue.

Kaffeeform: a cup made from coffee grinds
Innovation from Berlin: cups made from coffee grinds.
Photo: Kaffeeform

The result is Kaffeeform:  a cup made from coffee grinds. Virtually unbreakable, biodegradable, and always infused with a hint of coffee aroma. If this kickstarted your caffeine receptors, get ready to choose your receptacle: Kaffeeform is available in cappuccino and espresso versions – and as a reusable take-away cup.

Reusable cups made from coffee grinds
Kaffeeform also offers reusable cups.
Photo: Kaffeeform

Floating Parks: garbage gardening

Plastic bags, empty cans, and the odd single flip-flop: Before our garbage reaches the sea, it first pollutes our rivers. A cycle Dutch architecture bureau Whim aims to disrupt with its Floating Parks – a floating landscape constructed from recycled river refuse.

The Whim designer’s prototype has already found a new home in Rotterdam harbor. While visitors enjoy the blooming flower beds and verdant groves topside, the modules’ underside serves as a breeding ground for fish and algae. The result is a clever clean-up aid for oceans and cities alike.

Floating landscapes based on recycled plastic
It’s green, modular, and floats: recycled honeycomb design by Whim.
Photo: Recycled Park

Parley: design for our oceans

Parley for the Oceans is a pool of creatives, thinkers, and leaders united by a single vision: saving the world’s oceans. Together with Adidas, Parley activists last Fall presented the “Adidas x Parley,“ – a sneaker manufactured using recycled plastic and fishing nets. Now, it’s time for the next instalment of the Adidas Originals by Parley range.

The innovative NMD_CS1 Parley model comes with a recycled rubber sole and upper featuring Parley Ocean Plastic, i. e. processed plastic waste collected on beaches and coastal strips in Mexico or Chile. A definitive step up for style – and cleaner oceans.

Sneaker by Parley and adidas
From sea to sneaker – the new sneaker by Parley and Adidas is made from recycled plastic.
Photo: Parley

Urban furniture from plastic waste: Print Your City!

With Print Your City!, Rotterdam-based research and design studio The New Raw highlights the benefits of waste recycling. The standout project by founders Foteini Setaki and Panos Sakkas was commissioned by the City of Amsterdam.

Their ingenious proposal: A 3D printer turns recycled plastic pellets into building blocks for public urban furniture. Their first prototype, the XXX Bank, pays homage to the three St. Andrew’s crosses on Amsterdam’s coat of arms. And contains exactly the volume of plastic waste generated by two citizens in a year.

Woman on futuristic furniture made from recycled plastic
Public benches in Amsterdam give plastic waste a new lease of life.
Photo: The New Raw
Urban recycled plastic furniture
The furniture is manufactured in a 3D printer.
Photo: The New Raw