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Recycled Plastic Public Seating

Client: Sha Tin Town Hall LCSD
Completion: February 2020

HIR Studio in Hong Kong designed a series of public benches in a district town hall, by using recycled household plastic waste from the same district.

From Shatin, For Shatin

Inspired by the concept of " What's taken from the community to be used back in the community ", HIR studio recycled the plastic bottles in the riverside town, processed and re-moulded them into new public benches, before bringing them back into the local town hall for everyone to enjoy.

To raise public awareness a local design studio collected daily plastic waste from the community, and designed them into new benches in the town hall, where everyone can enjoy the fruit of recycling. With more incentives and knowledge the community will learn of the proper methods of waste disposal, and avoid further pollution to landfills and our beloved river.

Everyday 40 thousand items of plastic waste got drained into the Shing Mun River, which further pollute the ocean. Whilst 2000 tonnes of plastic waste is dumped to the landfill daily. Plastic is not biodegradable and has been jeopardising our nature. On weekends people in Sha Tin deliver their household plastic waste to the collection outlets. Bottles rinsed and packages dismantled, before being categorised into 7 types of plastic. After 2 months, we collected 500 kg of HDPE ( Type 2 plastic ) waste. Plastic waste is collected at Sha Tin Community Green Station, Sha Tin Recycle Centre, and Sha Tin Waste-no-mall.

Upon receiving the garbage we categorised them with machines and ground them into pellets. In the furniture
factor y pellets were cleaned and ground into powder before being rotary-moulded in a huge oven. Once it cools down, demoulds, and gets sanded by hands, one typical plastic module piece would be ready. Next we thread through all the pieces with metal rods, as we drilled though them with CNC technique and bolted them firm. One bench is finally

The benches are composed of a series trapezoidal plastic modules connected altogether. All modules are identical and each rotates to a specific angle, forming curvilinear shapes. Made of homogeneous material - recycled plastic, connected by simple structure, the benches can be easily recycled  again.

After journey of manufacturing, recycled plastic benches returned to their origin, Sha Tin, and are placed in the town hall. With more incentives ever yone will learn of the concept of“ What’s taken from Sha Tin, will be used back in Sha Tin ”. By adopting proper ways of waste disposal we could avoid further pollution t o landfills and our river .

Recycled plastic, especially HDPE (# 2), has not been a popular material for making furniture nor architectural items in Hong K ong. Not having seen any nice products upcycled from plastic waste, most people lacked the motivation to recycle. For the first time in Hong Kong many people witness the joyous rebirth of plastic waste they once consumed, cleaned, catergorised, and recycled. Hopefully with more social incentives, coupled with timely governmental policy, the recycling rates and quality of exported pellets in Hong Kong can be raised, offering our world more high-quality upcycled plastic products. Reduce the use of plastic is always the best. Yet the inevitable plastic waste left behind from our daily lives needs to be wisely dealt with, through the most sustainable ways to recycle.

With the support from:
Sha Tin Town Hall
Environmental Protection Department
Waste No Mall - Sha tin
Shatin Recycle Centre
Sha Tin Community Green Station
Hankang Recycling Limited
Kian China Furniture Company Limited

Gold - A&D Awards 2021 Innovation & Technology
Silver - A' Design award 2021


ARCHDAILY - Hong Kong Architects Convert Plastic Waste into Public Benches to Combat Pollution

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST - Pair upcycle plastic waste into benches for public in a Hong Kong town, showing the potential of a circular economy to reduce marine pollution

INHABITAT - HIR Studio uses old plastic to bring new life to Hong Kong

METROPOP - 「膠」換座椅

JET MAGAZINE - HIR studio 大會堂長椅的前世今生



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