This research addresses the grave issue of plastic waste in the Pacific. By using Samoa as a case study, it was considered that distributed recycling combined with 3D printing offers an opportunity to (1) repurpose and add new value to this difficult waste stream and (2) engage diverse local communities in Samoa by combining notions of participatory design with traditional Samoan social concepts. Fieldwork in Samoa established the scope of the issue through interviews with stakeholders in government, waste management businesses, the arts and crafts community and education. Based on the information obtained from the fieldwork, potential product areas and designs were explored through material and 3D printing experiments using low-cost, open-source equipment. The experiments informed the design of speculative scenarios for workable, economically viable, socially empowering and sustainable systems for repurposing and upcycling plastic waste, which then enabled production of practically useful and culturally meaningful 3D printed objects, artefacts and products. Building upon the outcome and with a view towards implementation, Creative Pathways, an educational initiative aimed at propagating 3D printing and contextual design, was established and is being delivered in local schools.
Taito-Matamua, L., Fraser, S. and Ok, J. (2018), "Renewing Materials: Implementing 3D Printing and Distributed Recycling in Samoa", Crocker, R., Saint, C., Chen, G. and Tong, Y. (Ed.) Unmaking Waste in Production and Consumption: Towards the Circular Economy, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 191-212. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78714-619-820181016
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