Plastex | Waste matters
This project was aimed at new bio-plastic materials development using textile waste as a raw material. during the chemical processes, textile waste is transformed into new organic compounds. The clothing and textile industry, right after the oil, is the second-largest polluter in the world. According to the European commission, the European union annually generates around 16 million tonnes of textile waste which is both pre-consumer and post-consumer waste. Up to 95% of the landfilled textile waste is potentially recyclable, however, only 25% of it is reused or recycled.
Textile industry waste is polluting the air - while disintegrating, it emits methane - harmful greenhouse effect causing gas. Chemicals used to dye fabrics pollute soil and water. In Lithuania, textiles are not recycled, so the waste enters the landfill or is turned into a fuel (currently only burned in waste incineration plant).
This project seeks to discover alternative design methods that will resist the logic of universality, functionality and overall beauty dictated by large-scale industry. As a result, the designer has created non-finite objects for the viewer’s interpretation and further transformation processes. During her laboratory experiments, a new bioplastic material has been developed, which has the potential to be applied as a homogeneous bioplastic material in the film, yarn, and solid bioplastics and as the main binding ingredient in the development of composite materials.
After intuitive queries, different forms of transformation and knowledge about possible characteristics of the material were conveyed by well-known design objects and mass production objects made of new different characteristic materials.
Experimental recycling of textile waste is oriented into a process in which laboratory experiments were carried out. During the development of the project, modern processing possibilities of textile were reviewed and both technological and artistic ideas were developed for future solutions. The real touch of new techniques in the laboratory has become a very valuable experience for a designer, which later allowed to continue this project at her studio. Using a variety of techniques, a unique technological textile waste recycling method was developed. The current result is four different material transformations: solid bioplastic material, cellulose film, cellulose yarn, and organic composite rubber.
Cotton waste, acetic acid, organic compounds.
PLASTEX | WASTE MATTERS | textile recycling in a laboratory (Article)