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Upcycling the oceans

Ecoalf is a Spanish company that transforms plastic waste into eco-friendly products through recycling processes.

Photo of Elena Gómez
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Ecoalf recycles plastic bottles, cotton, fishing nets, used tyres, coffee grounds and wool, all over the world, to design eco-friendly products, among others, clothes. In particular, plastic bottles are collected and pass through a series of steps of cleaning and crushing to obtain plastic flakes which, through mechanical processase, converted into rough polyester spun fiber that is manipulated to obtain the final quality. This recycled yarn is then used to develop fabrics, labels, laces, etc..Ecoalf has recycled more that 70 million plastic bottles so far. Phases of the process can be described: collect pet bottles > chips >spinning > weaving > product.

Besides, Ecoalf Foundation has undertaken Upcycling the Oceans project (UOP): a project that will help rid the oceans of rubbish through partnership with fishermen, tranforming plastic debris in the Mediterranean into thread for weaving fabric. In this case, the phases of UOP include fishermen collaboration: collect > put in bins > separate materials > transform >  spin > weave  > product design > sales 

Ecoalf website: https://ecoalf.com


How does this research relate to our Use Cases?

This could be related to any case, whereas the composition of the plastic is similar to the one tested and validated to be transformed into weaving fabric.

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

To have positive social impact is important to work with communities who have the knowledge and the know how (in this case fishermen). It is important to share with them passions and purposes they can identify with.

Tell us about yourself

I am a designer, architect and love working in social impact projects. This challenge, for me, is so inspiring!!

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Hi Elena!
There are 3 days left in the ideas phase of the circular design challenge! It would be great to see your ideas there, submit your idea via - https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/circular-design/ideas/contribute

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