This Guy Is Making Furniture and Buildings out of Your Trash | Nat Geo Live

This Guy Is Making Furniture and Buildings out of Your Trash | Nat Geo Live


– [Arthur] I hate plastic. That’s why we’ve engulfed
on a 15 year mission to turn that into something
that we actually want. We have collected
around 750 new materials that’s coming from our
daily post-consumer waste. It can go into any
consumer product at lower cost,
higher performance. First of all, let
me show of hand who actually recycled
something today? Wow. Okay, this is a weird audience. But guess what, guess what? There’s actually, in
the United States, we have the lowest
recycling rate of all the developed nations. It’s plateauing at
34% recycling rate. You look at the waste
here, it has tires, apparel waste, on top of
plastic bags and PET bottles. I think this is one
of a big problem here, no one actually wants
to be responsible for all that waste
that we’re creating. We are responsible,
all of us here, are responsible for this mess. Our solution is, we
have to make trash sexy. And this what National
Geographic is so good about. For us engineers, that
is engineering porn. Okay, so, why is that? Because this is the highest
performance animal in the ocean. It’s the fastest,
it has the scale that’s optimized for
speed, and it’s just the pure physical
form is no waste. Zero waste. Everything is considered,
everything is designed. But this is what we get,
every grain of rice, every wheat, every bread
that you eat has 20% waste. Fiber waste. Every PET bottle, all
of these are perfectly nontoxic material that can
constantly be recycled, reused. And then we have
a growing e-waste. Electronic waste. Huge amount of it, it
has precious metals, it has a lot of toxic elements. Let me get nerdy a
little bit here, okay? Why we are not turning
that into product, today, if you touch your
clothes there’s no
recycled content in it. There’s the seat
you’re sitting on, the environment that we’re in, has no recycled content in it. This is a problem. Why? Why not? The reason is because
the polymer chain got broken in the
recycling process. Then how do you make
then strong again? If you’re a weak animal, a
weak animal cannot be sexy. Maybe they are but, you
know they’re not very sexy. So we are actually
drawn to pretty things. So how do you make
that sexy again? We have to use fiber
to bridge in-between. And this is a, we
go back to history, the Romans built
cement aqueducts, Chinese built walls, all with agricultural
waste grinded down into these powder forms
they mix into the cement. What it does is, it has
silicon dioxide in it, amorphous silicon dioxide. It’s a natural glue. It’s actually forming
these broken polymer chains if you mix into it, it actually
starts to come together, conglomerates, into much
much stronger materials. The ancient does it, why
aren’t we doing that today? So that’s one of
the solutions how we reinforce material
using organic waste. So why aren’t we doing this? Toxicity. This is a piece of leather, and that’s a piece of recycled
PET fabric on the side. Just look at how many steps
that’s required to produce and process a piece
of leather fabric versus a piece of
recycled PET waste. Every step requires a carbon
footprint, energy, chemicals. On the recycled PET
side, you only use water, heat, and knife to
cut the pieces down. Why aren’t we doing this more? We invent seven new
materials a month, we have collected
around 750 new materials that’s coming from our
daily post-consumer waste. But the problem is no one
wants to buy them, okay? So we have to pioneer
making up new applications. So I’ll show you very
quickly what we did. This is what we call
molecular cooking. Molecular cooking at all levels. Molecular gastronomy
at the marketing front, new pioneering, engineering, and designing, and
marketing fronts. It can go into any
consumer product at lower cost,
higher performance. We have built 40
story tower with trash, campuses, nine story
tall building, museum, we just finished the biggest
e-waste recycling plant where we turn the
waste of a waste into all the
building’s structure. We’ve worked on a food waste
recycling plant in Taiwan, and we are also
doing a car waste recycling plant that’s
finishing this year. This looks like a
piece of marble. It’s not. It’s right here. It’s a piece
of recycled PET non-woven, no chemical added, heat
pressed, structural material, and it’s also an air purifier. Okay, made from cigarette
waste, which is tobacco, which I smoked for many years. Okay, it can be formed, shaped, into a lot of different formats, we turned it into this
in Milan this year. This is a pavilion,
it’s actually inspired by the natural lung molecule. And that’s actually
capturing formaldehyde in the air and it’s
integrated with electronics. It’s all interlocked,
single material, no glue, and I want you to focus
on the waste of the waste of that cigarette butt
production process, which are those chairs. We actually turned that
into this furniture product using the
cigarette butts. So the product’s called
“Anything Butt,” okay? And this process allows
other designers globally to do even more different
types of furniture products. Please, this has to
look sexy to you now, because this is the leftover of a typical German
beer festival. Look at all that material
that’s out there. This is a possibility here. And we turn that, all
that crap, e-waste, food waste, recycled Nike
shoes, into recycled Nike store. In New York, you can go see, in Paris, Le Marais,
you can go see, in Milan, in London,
you can see all these stores that are
made from apparel waste and e-waste, and
any type of waste. We scale across 23 countries, taking portable
manufacturing machinery into developed world, because we want
to keep the trash in the developed world,
not to ship to India, China, Taiwan, anywhere else. Thank you.


23 thoughts on “This Guy Is Making Furniture and Buildings out of Your Trash | Nat Geo Live

  1. Never mind about getting to Mars. We need machinery that will separate waste into useful constituents like metal, plastic, wood, etc. NOW !

  2. Amazing talk..
    Unfortunately all this uses are made for advertising purposes. "Look at me I'm recycled".
    We have to optimize the recycling process so that buying recycled material will be cheaper than buying new stuff…
    For example the states should remove taxes from buying recycling material.

  3. 5:30 <— Bashing Germans and ignoring the giant piles in China is disingenuous!
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/chinas-trash-is-taking-over/article24367032/

  4. That is some nice looking furniture and here in San Francisco, CA and the Bay Area people have been dumping appliances, furniture, mattresses, car parts and other forms of trash and all that stuff can made into building materials, and furniture and I thought the Bay Area had all these recycling facilities for big items and can create jobs but the democrats and liberals don't want that in California

  5. Create a less expensive non corrosive concrete reinforcement material with equal strength of rebar, and you may have a winner on your hands.

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