From waste to valuable resources

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These objects tell the story of an Australian optical company that made eye-glasses from recycled milk bottle tops.

In 2023, Australia began investing in technology and infrastructure that turned waste materials into new products close to where they had accumulated.

By 2027, the concept of waste had completely changed. Local transport hubs housed not only micro-factories but also local ‘libraries of things’ – places that encouraged people to eschew traditional ownership and instead borrow items for only as long as they were needed.

These two approaches dramatically reduced the need for landfill (an archaic term used for an area of space where people at the time disposed of valuable plastics). In 2028 a concerted campaign using specialist robots cleared 90% of Australia’s landfill, repurposing the areas for green space.

Sculpture by Elmar Kert

Thanks to Bruce Jeffreys and the team at Dresden