Upcycling company Pentatonic is to help coffee chain Starbucks UK turn their trash into furniture for their cafes. Pentatonic has developed a method to turn waste plastic into a high-quality material for homeware creation. Matthew Stock reports.
Trash is everywhere - with plastic garbage most prevalent. But for homeware designers Pentatonic it's an abundant resource. These chairs were made from post-consumer plastic trash, like water bottles. The plastic is first sorted and broken down to tiny shards. This mobile solar-powered recycling plant is called Trashpresso. It's built by Miniwiz, a Taiwanese up-cycling tech company who are investors in Pentatonic. It demonstrates, on a small scale, the Pentatonic method for turning plastic trash into usable material. SOUNDBITE (English) JOHANN BOEDECKER, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO OF PENTATONIC, SAYING: "Trashpresso is a miniaturised recycling factory or recycling plant that actually functions. So you can bring your trash here... and we can take it through a recycling process that yields raw material-grade, disinfected, single material, pure, usable - in this case tiles - but also resins, which can then be re-manufactured into anything from fabrics like the jacket I'm wearing all the way to injection moulded automotive components, or in our case the furniture and home-wear that we sell." Their chairs, up-cycled from plastic trash, start at around 200 pounds. There's also plastic tables and glasses made form old smartphone screens. And if you fancy a change, they're offering a buy-back guarantee on all their products. SOUNDBITE (English) JAMIE HALL, CO-FOUNDER AND CMO OF PENTATONIC, SAYING: "However long the consumer wants them, we'll buy them back at the end of their life and turn them into something new because it's one material. It's almost like ice, so it's still water, we'll freeze it into ice and then at the end of life we'll just break it down to water and do something different with it." Pentatonic is now working with Starbucks UK to turn their trash - like coffee cup cup lids and Frappuccino cups - into furniture for their cafes. They'll then expand to Starbucks stores across Europe.