Designer upcycles plastic waste into stunning jewelry

Moscow-based artist Polina Cherpovitskaya is upcycling plastic waste into jewelry. 

Cherpovitskaya usually created souvenirs and accessories for museums. But when the pandemic put work on hold, she decided to get creative. It started when a corporate client asked her to make promotional items out of plastic rubbish. Cherpovitskaya decided to turn the request into an entire business: Recycle.Object. 

“This is not about us trying to recycle all the plastic into our jewelry because, of course, a very little amount of plastic goes into them, this is more about somebody buying this jewelry and probably thinking about (of environment issues) and will not simply throw garbage or buy an unnecessary bottle in a shop,” Cherpovitskaya told the Associated Press. 

Recycle.Object gets its leftover plastic waste from a 3D print studio. The company shreds the plastic into color granules which are then melted into plastic sheets that Cherpovitskaya can manipulate. The very process itself allows Recycle.Object’s own unused material to be reused later on. 

“I think the biggest advantage of our production is that after we have our decorations cut out, here you can see the shapes, we return this plastic back to the production, break it into pieces and put it into the shredder, and get the plastic (to work with) again,” says Cherpovitskaya.

The company uses recycled plastic from bottles and caps too. Cherpovitskaya hopes to be able to bring the technique to other goods besides jewelry. 

“I am looking at some bigger projects,” she told the Associated Press. “I like (projects) of interior decoration very much, where I often saw that (products made of waste plastic) are used too. I think it is the future because it is beautiful.” 

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