As a part of their journey towards a more circular design approach, Country Road were working to increase their use of recycled materials, unlocking the value of existing resources. So with a genuine desire to push boundaries and drive positive change, they were looking to create a beautiful, new product line with sustainability at it's core.
With a focus on using recycled plastics in new and innovative ways, Country Road we're looking specifically to partner with an organisation that could assist not only in reducing the brands impact, but also actively improve their local eco-system.
During their search for sustainable and ethical Australian manufacturers, Country Road were drawn to Precious Plastic Melbourne by a shared passion for circularity and responsible business practices, and thus engaged us for collaboration on their new range.
Country Road provided an initial brief and design, along with references for the required product look and feel. Injection Moulding was chosen as the method of production, and the designs were adjusted slightly to suit the manufacturing process. After approval of 3D printed prototypes, the designs proceeded to the tooling phase, and we produced the final set of 3 product moulds.
With material selection being of utmost importance, we opted for locally sourced plastic bottle caps - a waste stream destined for landfill, as the material is generally too small to be recycled via conventional methods. Keeping quality and circularity in mind, LDPE caps were selected specifically from the carefully sorted bottle tops, ensuring the integrity and future recyclability of the product.
A colour palette was selected -white and black with a gold highlight- followed by the testing and development of the production method, ensuring a premium finish and the desired tones and patterning were achieved before proceeding to full production.
The resulting products, the beautifully handcrafted 'Rooks' range, has a striking marble-like effect. The Precious Plastic Melbourne team produced a bespoke batch of 750 products, diverting roughly 20,500 plastic lids from landfill.
In the creation of the Rooks range, we produced the following:
• 250 x Small Dish
• 250 x Medium Dish
• 250 x Tray
750 pieces were produced in total, with the team additionally providing packaging and barcoding services.
• 61.2kg post-consumer plastic recycled
• 20,500 discarded lids diverted from landfill
• 196.8kg CO2 emissions savings
Importantly, not only was this waste diverted from landfill, it also prevented the need for use of virgin (new) materials.
Lessons and success
The full production run was produced using our Zephyr Bros. Pro-Series Injector. Despite a 100% recycled base, this incredibly 'manual' process allowed our team to finesse the quality and aesthetic of the product, enabling us to craft an exceptionally striking range from a material that was once considered waste.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
"It’s very rare that we meet suppliers who are doing such amazing work and are so passionate about what they do – It’s made us all very excited about the future opportunities our two companies have to look forward to."
Homewares Designer, Country Road