Actimake / Circularity through play

Belén Garlo

How can we motivate the upcycling of packaging and waste generated by children to optimize the useful life of this material, in an innovative and fun way. The current packaging system is unsustainable because it is still fundamentally linear: raw materials are used to manufacture a product's packaging and, once consumed, the packaging is thrown away. The "Take, Make, Waste" culture is creating major challenges, especially for the plastics industry, which ranks as the second largest polluter in terms of total greenhouse gas emissions. This problem is aggravated when it comes to toys, because their life cycle is much shorter than that of other products. What I propose is a new recycling system in which single use packaging is designed in a circular way, to optimize the useful life of the material through a second life as toys. And above all to raise awareness among children about recycling and circularity, because they are the generations of the future. Actimake is a recycling system designed so that waste can become a system of lego-like connectors so that children can play creating structures and imagining any type of object. They are encouraged to exercise critical thinking by putting counterweights inside the bottles to make stable structures. The joints we designed are printed in 3D with a bioplastic that comes from potato starch, but this is a work in progress and we believe that we can develop other types of joints with other materials and for more types of packaging.

These four years in school have changed my way of seeing the world, with a curious eye, attentive to detail and to others. They have also helped me to ask myself questions, to question the why and what for of objects and to understand design as a tool to generate a positive impact on society. I’m passionate about sustainability, design, play, innovation and sailing.

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