WASTED: Inspiring neighbourhood “labs” and rewards for recycling plastic

Amsterdam Noord-based WASTED is a neighbourhood laboratory that is turning plastic “trash into treasure”.

Under the WASTED initiative, community members, businesses and cultural organisations help to collect plastic in the neighbourhood. The plastic is then taken to the WASTED Laboratory where using machines, plastic is reprocessed in order to create new items for the community. WASTED give points to community members for every bag of plastic they contribute to the Laboratory.

Using the machines, plastic waste is turned into WASTED Blocks. These blocks are then used to make all-new benches, planters, stages and more, for the community.

Community members, or “neighbors” as WASTED refers to them as, collect points, which act like a reward scheme, which they can use to earn deals and discounts from WASTED “friends” who are local businesses including coffee shops, natural health therapists and grocery stores. Deals include free coffee and discounts on reiki treatments, among others.

WASTED hope that communities around the world will be inspired by their initiative and set up their own Laboratories worldwide. In order to share with the world their aims to benefit neighborhoods through localised plastic waste re/upcycling, WASTED have developed open source documents that share details of the Block, machine and process designs.

The open source report, written by WASTED designers, outlines how the Laboratory can be replicated by communities around the world.

WASTED say: “WASTED aims to benefit the neighborhood through localized plastic waste re/upcycling. We hope WASTED can achieve the same goals in more neighborhoods around the world. To help other communities get WASTED.

“Within the report, you’ll find details on the design of the WASTED Block, the self-made machines used to make it, and the process for using these machines to create a Block.”

The report on how to Build Your Own Lab is available here.


Rosalind Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She is a writer specialising in sustainable life & style, music, entertainments and wellbeing. Rosalind also works as a spiritual life coach and intuitive advisor helping people to become who they truly are and manifest their heart & soul’s desires into their lives: www.rosalindmedea.com

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