We are at an age where most consumer products are thrown in the waste basket once they have lived up their useful life. A lot of them are either broken or have been simply tagged as unusable. But while most consumers look at replacements thereafter, there are various ways to turn trash into gold. Apparently this was the challenge made towards the Western Washington University students which transformed industrial wastes into eco-friendly treasures.
One of the first lessons the students learned was that it’s not enough to use recyclable materials. You have to think about how you attach one material to another. “If you have a recyclable material like an aluminum bonded to a plastic that’s non-recyclable, suddenly the recyclable component is no longer recyclable,” Bjarnasson points out. She says they had to avoid using strong glues for that reason, and also because the adhesives can release toxic chemicals into the environment.
Before the students could get started, they had to find the industrial scraps to make their products.
Seth Tucker wanted to make bracelets out of disposable chopsticks. “I found that between Japan and China, one billion pairs of chopsticks are thrown away each year. They’re taking down whole forests just for chopsticks!”
(Source) Voice of America