Cluj Cultural Centre
Cluj Cultural Centre
3-9 December 2018
Casa Tiff, Cluj-Napoca
Re-Think Plastic was a temporary plastic recycling workshop, organized in partnership with the Cluj Cultural Centre, as part of it’s Quantum program. Quantum proposes the development of punctual events, which develop audiences for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) education, in order to set the ground for the future Science Centre in Cluj.
In this context, Re-Think Plastic acted as an interactive learning space as well as an open innovation platform, animating discussions on the topic of plastic pollution.
”We have long believed that the greatest environmental problems are the loss of biodiversity, climate change and ecosystem collapse. I thought 30 years of high level science can address these issues, but I was wrong.The biggest environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy. To address them we need a spiritual and cultural transformation, and we, the scientists do not know how to do this.Gus SpethAmerican climatologist.
Our purpose was to mediate the interaction between scientists, culture workers and the general public to address these challenges holistically. In the case of plastic – apathy, or more precisely indifference is the biggest problem. A versatile and valuable material, which has decisively contributed to many of the technological developments of the last century, becoming ubiquitous in our homes, offices, industry and, unfortunately, our nature; it is often discarded after one use.
For these reasons, we considered plastic a good first exercise to explore what we can do, as a community, to solve complex problems made up of technological, economic and socio-cultural challenges.
We wanted to explore the local perception, as well as the level of involvement of experts and the community in improving the way we use, but especially, reuse plastic.
Aiming to attract school-age children, our team held Precious Plastic workshops over 3 days, accommodating over 200 pupils from 4 different schools. During these workshops, the children learned about the history of plastic, the different types of plastic found in our households and got hands-on experience in recycling bottle caps into beautiful Christmas ornaments.
The Bags pf Bags addressed both young and old audiences and showcased how to transform the ubiquitous bag of bags from our households into colorful bags and wallets, using an iron or crocheting needles.
We also talked about shaping new objects in the Precious Plastic Workshop for designers and architects. This co-creation exercise involved students from the Architecture University, experienced designers (Prototip Studio) and craftsmen (Cluj Makers), who explored the potential of Precious Plastic workshops in making useful objects for the local community.
The Re-Think plastic exhibition featured both local industrial and creative solutions to the plastic problem, from examples implemented by Sandor Korosfoy, the Director of the Public Sanitation Service of the city of Târgu Lăpuș, which reached a record level of recycling at national level, to beautiful jewelry designs made from recycled Plastic by Borbala Ferencz. At the same time, a pollution map of the Someș river, accompanied by the VR installation ECO VR Delivery, showed the results of a comprehensive research done by the Someș Delivery team, concerning the pollution along Cluj’s biggest river.
The special guest of this event was Sandor Korosfoy, the Director of the Public Sanitation Service of the city of Târgu Lăpuș, who talked about his initiatives and how he manages to selectively collect 60% of the city’s waste. His presentation opened the public debate: “Plastic, challenges and solutions. How can we increase the recycling rate in Cluj County? ”. Along with him presented: Alin Mureșan – WeRecycle – an alternative solution for collecting plastic and Alexandra Anghel – environmental coordinator of Someș Delivery’s research on plastic pollution along the Someș river. At the end of the official talk, the participants had an open discussion trying to identify possible paths and solutions for the city.