A new use for plastics
Plastic has found its third act.
Once considered a revolutionary material, plastic was a miracle solution. As transparent and malleable as glass, but nowhere near as fragile, plastic was used in countless applications.
And though it was recyclable, a combination of inadequate recycling programs and low residual value meant that a majority of used plastic ended up in landfills. And the ocean. To the tune of 8 million tonnes per year.
However, plastic is about to redeem itself. New doors are opening when it comes to used plastic, thanks to innovative techniques and unorthodox solutions. A few of which we’re putting into practice.
The first of these is 3D-knit. Made from 100% recycled PET bottles, this knitted fabric is already a known entity in fashion and footwear. It looks and feels premium, reduces waste, and the production process itself wastes nothing as the material can be made to size.
The second is recycled Nylon 6, a material fashioned from discarded fishing nets. An international collection network provides said nets, meaning a self-perpetuating supply of plastic which would have otherwise ended up in the sea.
The third is cork, along with bottle stoppers from the wine industry. These materials, along with waste products from the cork manufacturing process, form part of the interior PVC components.
The fourth are the woven flax fibres of Bcomp, with their innovative powerRibs™ material forming the rear seat panels.
None of these materials come at the expense of design or quality. “If anything, they enable even more premium, cutting-edge, modern and stylish executions which elevate our design-led products,” states Polestar Head of Design Maximilian Missoni. “We were able to derive new aesthetics from new contexts and technologies, allowing society to move on.”
Plastic has been reinvented multiple times, from miracle material, to scourge of the environment, to a new, sustainable definition of premium. Plastic has found its third act, one that ensures its incredible shelf life is leveraged.
Less plastic in the ocean. More premium in a Polestar.
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From concept to reality. A process every product goes through, one packed with changes and compromises, the watering down of certain details and the wholesale abandonment of others. As a result, the finished product often barely resembles the original idea, the end result being something halfway between the designer's ambitions and the production capabilities available.