If we remove plastic from the world’s waterways, what happens to it next? Amsterdam-based Plastic Whale – the “first professional plastic-fishing company in the world” according to founder Marius Smit – came up with a creative answer: circular furniture. They teamed up with LAMA Concept and Vepa to design the Plastic Whale Circular Furniture collection, which is made with trash fished from the city’s canals.
Plastic Whale takes thousands of people plastic fishing in Amsterdam’s canals every year, removing tons of plastic trash, according to their video. They’ve created fishing boats out of plastic collected and then decided to make something new with the garbage: office furniture. They enlisted the help of design firm LAMA Concept to design the pieces, and furniture manufacturer Vepa to produce and sell them.
They’ve created a boardroom table, chairs, a lamp, and an acoustic panel. Vepa director Janwillem de Kam said in a statement, “For the manufacture of the furniture we use PET bottles that have been collected by Plastic Whale. We also melt steel waste into the base of the chair. We are fast moving towards a waste-free factory and even ensure that we process the waste from others in this collection.” Plastic Whale said they also utilize residual fabrics for the chair.
LAMA Concept co-owner Yvonne Laurysen said they were inspired by whales for the furniture’s designs: “Think, for example, of the look and feel of the characteristic skin, the adipose tissue, and the impressive skeleton.” Surfacing whales inspired the boardroom table’s appearance, the chairs got their look from the shape of a whale’s tail, barnacles provided inspiration for the lamp, and a whale’s bellow offered the spark for the acoustic panels.
When a customer is done with the furniture, they can return it to Vepa, which will create new pieces and even return a deposit. The furniture can be ordered via exclusive dealers with prices available on request; you can email Vepa for more information. Some of the proceeds will go to organizations fighting the plastic problem like SweepSmart in India. You can find out more about Plastic Whale’s collection here.
Images via LAMA Concept and courtesy of Vepa