Project leader: Professor Mark Evans
Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), the Circular Plastic project was a collaboration between Loughborough, Aston and De Montfort universities in the UK with partners in Rwanda, Nigeria and Kenya.
The project explored the potential to convert waste plastic water bottles into 3D printer filament for use in the manufacture of innovative co-designed products for the three African countries. Loughborough University had responsibility for the industrial design work package for which six products were designed, prototyped and tested in Africa. The design team received a silver in the Social Impact category of the 2021 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) of the Industrial Designers Society of America. This was the first time that a Research Council UK funded project received an IDEA.