Mobile And Solar-Powered Recycling Plant Turns Trash Into Tiles

Trashpresso takes plastic bottles and turns them into architectural tiles, and it could produce so much more. Right now, it's on display at the London Design Festival and people are excited about its future.


May 25 2019, Updated 5:47 a.m. ET

Furniture and design company Pentatonic revealed their innovative creation, the Trashpresso, at the London Design Festival this week, setting it up in the courtyard of the historic Somerset House in Central London, according to Inhabitat. The name makes it sound like the Trashpresso turns garbage into espresso, but it is actually even more useful than that. The mobile technology is a solar-powered mini-recycling plant that transforms plastic waste into usable architectural tiles.

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Pentatonic is committed to using materials for their products that have some element of recycling involved. They don't use raw goods that create excess waste. They also want whatever they make to be reusable too, so they don't use glues, resins, paints, or formaldehydes to create their work. Thus everything in their studio can be safely recycled. Co-founder Johann Bodecker says this is an ethos that informs all decisions at the company.

“Our non-negotiable commitment to the consumer is that we make our products using single materials. That means no toxic additives and no hybridized materials which are prohibitive of recyclability,” said Bodecker.

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The Trashpresso is a way to spread that ethos around, as it can be used in places off the grid where traditional recycling plants wouldn't be capable of functioning. The machine sorts, shreds, and then compresses the plastic fibers it creates into the fully formed tiles visitors could see on display in London. Spheres were put on display around the Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court nearby, and then slowly filled in by the tiles created by their machine. 

The company's ideas have attracted the attention of companies who want to reduce their own contribution to waste and ocean pollution in the form of plastic. Starbucks UK has commissioned Pentatonic to turns their coffee shop waste into furniture. They'll be producing Starbucks Bean Chairs with recycled textiles, with a frame produced from plastic bottles and cups. You can soon be comfy, caffeinated, and supporting a sustainable planet. There's nothing the Trashpresso can't do.

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