Pretty Plastic Tiles – cladding materials from up-cycled PVC
Pretty Plastic aims to produce facade claddings out of the up-cycled plastic waste that looks great, are safe in use, easy to apply and last forever. Pretty Plastic contributes to a circular economy where waste does not exist, and raw materials are used repeatedly. The company uses discarded pipes, raingutters and window frames.
From trash to tile! They have developed a tile that consists entirely of recycled PVC building material waste. Due to waste streams being only used in the production process, every tile is slightly different, which gives facades a natural look. In addition, they can be applied to any building by cleaning up waste streams and producing a cladding material that can be endlessly recycled in the future.
“With Pretty Plastic, we want to prevent as much plastic waste as possible from ending up in landfills”The founders of Pretty Plastic (Overtreders W & Bureau SLA).
From waste to resource
In the beginning of 2015 Reinder Bakker, Hester van Dijk and Peter van Assche, with their design studio’s Overtreders W and Bureau SLA, got hold of a shipping container full of household plastic garbage. They saw the potential of this waste. They asked themselves; if it could be transformed into a precious building material? The discarded shampoo bottle would get a better life than ever before. Reinder, Hester and Peter visited the best plastic product producers in the Netherlands and presented their design of the building tile.
They designed and built their machine park: the Pretty Plastic Plant, to prove that plastic upcycling can be competitive. The Plastic Plant produced more than a thousand unique tiles used for complete interior design projects. This success leads to an even more significant challenge: the design for the Dutch Design Week 2017 main pavilion, the People’s Pavilion. The facade’s cladding consisted of 9.000 unique plastic upcycled tiles, all made from residents’ household plastic waste.
Based on the success of the People’s Pavilion, the tiles were further developed. To meet the stringent safety requirements for permanent buildings, the raw material was changed into hard PVC waste, which already contains fire-resistant materials.
In 2019 approval for fire certificate class B (very difficult to burn) was obtained according to NEN-EN 13501-1. As a result, Pretty Plastic tiles can now be applied to any building. In January 2020, the first permanent building to be clad in the hanging tiles, a school music pavilion in the Netherlands, was completed by Dutch studio Grosfeld Bekkers Van der Velde Architecten.
Data Regarding Impact:
Pretty Plastic is a cladding material that gives discarded building products a second life. Pretty Plastic shows that waste can become beautiful, made of old window frames, downspouts, and rain gutters. Since its invention, Pretty Plastic has cleaned-up 43.428 kg of plastic waste (status March 2022 and still counting).
In 2022 many new projects are developing in Belgium, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Germany and even the United States. In addition, the company is executing a life cycle analysis to provide a complete and in-depth overview of its ecological footprint. It is envisaged that this process will be concluded in the spring of 2023.