Going full circle: Recycling into Art

Published: 8 December 2022
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Joshua Space is an artist and designer based in Collingwood whose work relies on Victorians to recycle correctly.

“The Recycled Series relies on Victorians to recycle their household waste properly, so we can repurpose it into design pieces,” Joshua says.

Joshua creates objects and art from 100% recycled household plastic – specifically HDPE plastic, which is generally found in milk bottles, shampoo bottles and other common plastics found in our household recycling bins. The recycled plastic bottles are shredded into flakes and then moulded into a range of objects and design pieces.

“I started to look at plastic knowing it was something that was in abundance.”

“I think it's important to think about how we can use recycling and create objects that are perceived as beautiful.”

Joshua’s Recycled Series features items including pot planters, trinket trays and incense holders. He has even been commissioned to develop a range of bespoke tables for Tennis Australia, also made from recycled household plastics.

“I'm trying to reframe how people think about household recycling.”

Large recycled plastic planter by Joshua Space

Help recover valuable resources

Sustainability Victoria’s Small Acts, Big Impact campaign aims to make it easier for all Victorians to reduce waste and recycle more by making simple changes at home.

"Just by doing small acts – like putting your recycling in the bin loose and not in bags – means more valuable resources can be recovered and turned into new things like the objects in my Recycled Series."

Currently, 16% of Victorians put their recycling in plastic bags, making it a major contaminant in household recycling bins (Sustainability Victoria, Recycling Victoria Campaign Baseline Research, July 2022).

Recycling in bags cannot be sorted at Material Recovery Facilities because they can damage equipment by getting caught in the machines and they present a health and safety risk to sorting staff given the contents of the bag aren’t visible and may contain sharp objects.

By keeping your recycling loose and not in bags, you’ll be making it easier to collect, sort and process recycling.

Instead of placing recycling in a bag, try collecting your recycling in a basket, plastic tub or cardboard box. Once full, empty the contents into your mixed recycling bin at home so that all items go in separately.

Find other small acts that work for you

There are many other easy ways to reduce waste and recycle more. Find a small act that works for you and be part of Victoria’s sustainable future.