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3D Printing Turns Plastic Trash Into Public Furniture

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3D Printing Turns Plastic Trash Into Public Furniture
Print Your City! The New Raw

Dutch designers are giving Amsterdam's plastic trash a second life by creating 3D-printed benches out of discarded plastic bags.

The "XXX" plastic bench, a collaboration between The New Raw and Aectual, made its debut in late October in the Dutch capital.


The benches are made to look like rocking chairs that can fit up to four people. The beauty of such a product is that the shape and size of the bench can be easily customized.

Notably, at the end of the bench's life, it can be taken apart and recycled again up to seven times to create more furniture for public spaces.

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In the video below, New Raw co-founder Foteini Setaki says the benches weigh approximately 50 kilos each—roughly equal to 150 percent of total plastic waste produced by one Amsterdammer per year.

"So one Amsterdammer could potentially produce benches by just collecting their own plastic waste," she said.

According to Inhabitat, the Print Your City! project launched in 2016 as part of the AMS Institute's Circular City Program and is supported by TU Delft and AEB Amsterdam.

"Print Your City! explores the concept of applying 3D printing to plastic waste, as a way to re-design urban space," the project website states. "As the name suggests, Print your City! is a call for action, rallying citizens to recycle household plastic waste in order to transform it into raw material for public furniture, via a 3D printing process."

Watch here to learn more about the project.

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A plume of smoke from wildfires burning in the Angeles National Forest is seen from downtown Los Angeles on Aug. 29, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

California is bracing for rare January wildfires this week amid damaging Santa Ana winds coupled with unusually hot and dry winter weather.

High winds, gusting up to 80- to 90 miles per hour in some parts of the state, are expected to last through Wednesday evening. Nearly the entire state has been in a drought for months, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, which, alongside summerlike temperatures, has left vegetation dry and flammable.

Utilities Southern California Edison and PG&E, which serves the central and northern portions of the state, warned it may preemptively shut off power to hundreds of thousands of customers to reduce the risk of electrical fires sparked by trees and branches falling on live power lines. The rare January fire conditions come on the heels of the worst wildfire season ever recorded in California, as climate change exacerbates the factors causing fires to be more frequent and severe.

California is also experiencing the most severe surge of COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, with hospitals and ICUs over capacity and a stay-at-home order in place. Wildfire smoke can increase the risk of adverse health effects due to COVID, and evacuations forcing people to crowd into shelters could further spread the virus.

As reported by AccuWeather:

In the atmosphere, air flows from high to low pressure. The setup into Wednesday is like having two giant atmospheric fans working as a team with one pulling and the other pushing the air in the same direction.
Normally, mountains to the north and east of Los Angeles would protect the downtown which sits in a basin. However, with the assistance of the offshore storm, there will be areas of gusty winds even in the L.A. Basin. The winds may get strong enough in parts of the basin to break tree limbs and lead to sporadic power outages and sparks that could ignite fires.
"Typically, Santa Ana winds stay out of downtown Los Angeles and the L.A. Basin, but this time, conditions may set up just right to bring 30- to 40-mph wind gusts even in those typically calm condition areas," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Mike Doll.

For a deeper dive:

AP, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, Weather Channel, AccuWeather, New York Times, Slideshow: New York Times; Climate Signals Background: Wildfires, 2020 Western wildfire season

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, sign up for daily Hot News, and visit their news site, Nexus Media News.

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