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Wayne Hemingway Unveils Umbrella Made from Recycled Plant-Based Plastic Bottles

Posted By Andrew Michler On September 14, 2011 @ 2:24 pm In green packaging,Recycled Materials | 2 Comments

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Coca-Cola [1] recently teamed up with environmentally minded designer Wayne Hemingway [2] to introduce an umbrella made from recycled plant-based PET bottles. Available just in time for fall, the umbrellas are a statement on the viability of the plant based plastic [3] that the Coca-Cola Company introduced in 2009 (ironically for bottled water). The bottles are now rolling out en mass in England, and since they’re made from 22.5% plant material and another 25% recycled plastic they have a decidedly smaller environmental footprint. The ability to recycle the bottles into an umbrella is a great demonstration of how new products can be designed to have less impact from the beginning to the end of their lifecycle.

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The limited edition umbrella, which goes for £10, takes its design cue from Brazilian sugarcane, the material which the bottles are partially made from — a nice little reminder of the material’s origin. Amazingly, a whole umbrella can be produced from just five bottles – the PET plastic is melted and spun into a yarn.

CocaCola’s PlantBottles [3] avoid the dreaded problem of recycling contamination. William McDonough [4], co-founder of Cradle to Cradle, refers to the issue in his writing on monstrous hybrids [5] — most plant-based plastics are actually worse [6] from an environmental point of view, as the raw materials cannot be recycled.

The umbrella is demonstration of how PlantBottle can be reused in a higher quality product. We’re not quite ready to call this a Cradle to Cradle design as we don’t know if the umbrella itself can be recycled, but the design is a clear indicator of how low-impact materials can serve multiple uses and improve products while reducing their environmental footprint. Coca-Cola claims that if you recycle one of their new bottles it will reduce its carbon foot print by 40%, so keep that in mind next time you head to the recycling [7] bin or out in the rain.

+ Wayne Hemingway [2]

+ PlantBottle [8]


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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/wayne-hemingway-unveils-umbrella-made-from-recycled-plant-based-plastic-bottles/

URLs in this post:

[1] Coca-Cola: http://www.thecoca-colacompany.com/citizenship/plantbottle.html

[2] Wayne Hemingway: http://www.hemingwaydesign.co.uk/html/green.htm

[3] plant based plastic: http://inhabitat.com/coke-announces-global-rollout-of-plant-based-plastic-bottles/

[4] William McDonough: http://www.mcdonough.com/

[5] monstrous hybrids: http://inhabitat.com/inhabitat-interview-green-architect-cradle-to-cradle-founder-william-mcdonough/2/

[6] actually worse: http://inhabitat.com/did-you-know-that-plant-based-bottles-by-pepsico-and-coke-are-actually-not-biodegradable/

[7] recycling: http://inhabitat.com/recycled-materials/

[8] + PlantBottle: http://inhabitat.comCoca-Cola

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