2018 has shown growing public concern towards the negative implications of plastic waste. David Attenborough’s Blue Planet 2 exposed the world to an ocean littered with plastic, inspiring myself and a generation to create a better world. I was motivated by the abundance of plastic waste washed ashore the East Sussex Coastline to create something that made use of such a ubiquitous material. In my work I use an industrial oven to melt broken fishing nets, plastic bags, crisp packets and other miscellaneous plastic scraps found on the beach together around driftwood. It’s a material that embodies the conflict and connection between the natural and man-made environment. To demonstrate its value, I created a range of home ware products that highlight its beauty and versatility. It can be machined and treated like any other sheet material, and the waste cuttings can be melted together again and reprocessed so that there is no waste.
"Packham’s forward-thinking and environmentally conscious approach to design has resulted in the highly innovative use of plastic found polluting our oceans to create unique, hand-finished and ultra-high-quality products."
The Pestle and Mortar
This traditional object is re-invented in a conglomerate of plastic waste and driftwood. The mortar is turned on a lathe, the shavings are then collected, re-melted and moulded to form the pestle. This product elevates the value of plastic waste and recycles it in its own closed loop.
The materials collected for these placemats were sourced from along the East Sussex coastline and each mat has a hand etched brass insert that indicates that location. Like all of the products made in this material, every one has a unique aesthetic. When not in use the placemats can be hung as decorative pieces.