Old plastic bottles get a second shot at life in the creative hands of Royal College of Art graduate Micaella Pedros. The London-based designer collected discarded bottles and melted them down into a wood bonding material for furniture. Her experimental project, called Joining Bottles, explores upcycling of scavenged materials found across the city, including bits of wood and different colored plastic bottle waste.
Pedros makes Joining Bottles furniture using a variety of timber types, from wood offcuts to tree branches. To improve the strength of the plastic joints, the artist creates notches and groves in the wood nearest to where the parts will be joined. After cutting off the top and bottom of a plastic bottle, she slips the plastic sleeve over the wood pieces and uses a heat gun to melt the PET plastic until the bottle shrinks and wraps tightly around the wood pieces to create a strong bond.
“Both materials, wood and plastic bottles, are widely abundant in cities and other places,” writes Pedros. “There are lying there as waste, waiting to be reclaimed by people. Joining Bottles seeks to contribute to new beliefs based on what we, as individuals and communities, can do with what is available to us. In some countries, this project can make a real difference, promoting the collect of plastic bottles and wood waste, and helping people to empower themselves.” The plastic bonds are strong enough to create sturdy furnishing capable of supporting an average person’s weight.
Images via Micaella Pedros