Bottle-up solves Zanzibar's glass-waste problem
Using waste material as the base of design objects looks like an interesting yet bit autotelic experimentation from the first world, however, there are places on Earth where the meaningful recycling of discarded stuff is a matter of life and death. Zanzibar, the tourist paradise off the coast of East Africa, is deeply affected by waste produced by tourists.
The country is not yet equipped with the necessary recycling technologies, therefore it ends up with pile of waste scattered over the natural surroundings. Beach drinking is a habitual holiday pastime on the tropical island, which cannot be banned as tourism provides the main source of income for locals. Therefore, alternative solutions have to be found in order to ensure a healthy coexistence of tourism and natural preservation.
For the cause, six young Dutch designers traveled to Zanzibar this September, and examined the possibilities of reusing glass waste. Under the Bottle-up project, they worked closely together with local craftsmen to create a line of objects that reuse glass in various ways. The final collection includes a wide range of items from lights through trays to drinking vessels. Their design is partly inspired by local folk art, making them ideal souvenir objects, but their forms, shapes, and colours are in line with 21st century design thinking.
The brilliance of the project lies exactly in the fact that it not only re-uses the material itself but the actors of the chain as well, giving tourists a new role. There should be no illusions, however, about the efficiency of the venture; obviously, only a fragment of the overall waste can be repurposed this way. Therefore, the money coming from the selling of the objects will be turned to establishing a larger-scale, more effective recycling system that can be maintained on the long run.
Source: Design Milk
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