Inspired by the concept “what is taken from the community, must be returned to the community,” the Hong Kong design firm HIR Studio launched a project that served to contribute some way to alleviating plastic waste into the city’s Shing Mun River by utilising the waste produced by a town. Located in Sha Tin, the river has suffered from plastic pollution for years, with waste clogging the water way and damaging the delicate eco system. With over 17 million household plastic goods estimated to have been found in the river in 2018, HIR Studio set about preventing plastic from entering the river, dealing with the problem at source with a recycling drive that would turn the discarded waste into products that would benefit the city.
The plastics recovered are cleaned, processed, and ground into pellets before being melted and moulded in large ovens at a furniture factory in Sha Tin. The result is a series of public benches for use by locals who can enjoy the tangible benefits of recycling their own waste.
Images © HIR Studio