1st EPAL Amaliadas – Greece

The 1st EPAL of Amaliadas team

Description of the design

The Greek team has decided to participate in the program competition, with a creation corresponding to our potential. In particular, we created a “recycling lamp” using materials from our school halls.

Our idea arose from the reflection that we had, about the puzzling materials we had that had been spoiled and kept in our school’s storage room, taking up enough space. So we decided to decorate a few corners in our school with such constructions as well as other lighting constructions (ceiling lights).

The materials that we used were:

  • Desks
  • Cardboards
  • Various types of lamps
  • Colors
  • Cables
  • Glue for wood and plastic
  • Switches and caps

Upcycling D’eco – Morocco

Presentation of the Design

  • Team : UPCYCLING D’Eco
  • Country : Maroc
  • Town : Casablanca
  • Type of activity : Arts & Design

Why opt for cardboard ?

Not always easy to find a furniture to make with cardboard. Sometimes, the idea just comes without thinking. But sometimes, we swing between several types. Some motives which could make you want to create your own cardboard furniture.

  • Cheap gear needed.
  • Infinity of shape is possible
  • It is YOUR realisation and that is priceless

Many attractive features :

Food for creativity, cardboard shows many advantages…

  • Ecological, it is recyclable and it needs very poor blank fibre
  • Economical, his price is very reasonable if we compare with other materials as wood, metal or even plastic.
  • Usefull and flexible, it is easy to stock flat and it allows many shape possibilities.
  • Light, easy to move (perfect for kids, for scenery)
  • Tough, more than we think ! His alveolar shape makes his performance better.

However, cardboard has limits. It doesn’t resist to fire and his worst adversary is named water. Treatments against fire which are ecological exist. They are sprayed on the cardboard during the aqueous state. It protects the material which stays recyclable. Finally, to waterproof it, a tiny silicone layer sould be sprayed on before assembly.

The manufacturing stages of both products

Manufacturing steps : Creating our own furniture is gratifying but we all don’t have savoir-fare or tools in woodworking. So cardboard is a good option. Without a lot of gear and recycling material within easy reach, make a cardboard table demands precision.

Zoom in on design and manufacture : the cardboard coffee table.

  1. Step 1 : Design of the table
  2. Step 2 : Cut and stick the cardboard
  3. Step 3 : Make legs of the cardboard coffee table
  4. Step 4 : Strengthen edges and vertex
  5. Step 5 : Put components together
  6. Step 6 : Finishing touches
  7. Step 7 : Cut the glass and put it up with the cardboard

Zoom in on design and manufacture : cardboard clock.

  1. Step 1 : Design the clock trough with Adobe Illustrator
  2. Step 2 : Stick the cardboard
  3. Step 3 : Cut it with the digital-control machine
  4. Step 4 : Finishing touches
  5. Step 5 : Put the motor
Upcycling D'eco-99612

The Stars of Upcycling – Morocco

Textile Creation Design

Product presentation:

A recycled blanket made from textile waste, inspired by « boucherouette » carpet traditionally realised by Moroccans rural women. In the same time, we mix ancestral method with a new one called « tulle » to give elasticity to the product. This way of doing is environmentally friendly and highlight the morrocan heritage.

Technical specifications sheet:

  • Type of product : blanket.
  • Reference : C-B-2018 Size : 1,5 m / 1 m
  • Technique : knotting
  • Materia prima : textile waste
  • Raw material : 100 % cotton
  • Number of thread : 64
  • Weight : 1,8 kg

The Green Step – Morocco


Country: Morocco – City: Casablanca – Activity Sector: Arts & Design

Description of the Design

GREEN STEP is an idea of a product made from recycled plastic to create objects useful in our daily lives, while respecting the environment and keep the creative aspect in the production of objects made.

Problem Identification

At the fair level of the city CASABLANCA, waste collection costs 60 billion centimes a year, of which 40% is plastic waste. And the volume of waste produced has more than doubled in half a century and is expected to reach 12 million tonnes in 2020. And only 10% of household waste and 23% of industrial waste is recycled. Which puts us far behind in the world rankings.


  • The raw material (plastic waste) is abundant in Morocco
  • Recycled products are sold at a price a bit more expensive than competing products
  • State orientation towards the grant and the encouragement of the GREEN projects.

Social and environmental impact of the design

The GREEN STEP has a great social impact, since the entire team is made up of a group of young people who are in a precarious situation, and who find it difficult to integrate into the professional world, that’s why Green STEP offers a job opportunity for this type of young people, whose goal is to learn a trade (conduction, recycling, …). Thus this project is made to sensitize people and companies on the importance of selective sorting and to promote the concept of the circular economy.

Short term goals

  • Build a team of 10 young people of different profiles to increase production
  • Sign partnerships at least with 3 large companies to ensure waste.

Long-term goal

  • Inauguration of an apprenticeship training center in Morocco in the field of recycling and waste recovery.

The proposed Product

GREEN BOOK SUPPORT: is an object used to keep the book (Quran) open during reading the thing that lets the reader focus on the sentences. This object is widely used and requested in Muslim countries. It is an object both utilitarian and decorative. But unfortunately the majority of BOOK SUPPORT are made from the wood materials the thing that push to ravage whole drills to manufactures this type of support.

That’s why we proposed the Green Book SUPPORT which plays the same role as the wooden support, with more advantage easy to tidy, decorative, ecological.

The production process:

  1. The collection of waste and transported to the recycling unit
  2. Sorting different types of plastic
  3. Plastic grinding to give crushed plastic
  4. The preparation of melted pasta at the base of the plastic
  5. Modeling the dough according to the object we want to create.

The Creators – France

Étagère Terrarium

Waste is a resource that is too little used and unknown to the general public. Nowadays, only some seasoned craftsmen can handle them. They are the materials of tomorrow.

Waste is any residue of a process of production, transformation or use, any substance, material, product (etc.) that its holder intends to abandon. Nowadays in our society, we produce a lot of waste and very little is reused in a creative way. In this project, we strive to recover poorly recycled materials. Also, another question arose, very few people have access to green spaces or do not have time to go for a walk. We built our project bearing these two problems in mind.

After hours of research, we came up with the idea of bringing “nature” to the apartments. We thought the terrarium to be the most aesthetic method, however it takes up space. It had to be successfully integrated into an object or piece of furniture to reduce the impact in space.

At first, we thought to insert it in a table. But the material was not adapted to our expectations and we had to change our mind. The idea of several superimposed ecosystems pleased us. Like the shape of the “localriver” of Matthieu Lehanneur, but we decided to apply it vertically, so we opted for Scandinavian style shelving. We realized that the project was perhaps too heavy and imposing. We therefore sought to preserve the aesthetics but in a more compact and feasible form. We made a shelf with 4 floors or between each plank come 3 staggered terrariums.

The furniture will be dressed with beneficial health plants. The idea is to set up 2 terrariums of aromatic plants and only one to clean the air of the room. We selected the following species: Basil, Chives, Mint, Melisse Officinale, Croton and Chlorophistium. They will be planted in a substrate. The desire to clean up the air makes the furniture a productive type within the furniture environment. Our interiors are more and more polluted by different solvents present in the cleaning products for instance. The special interest of this project and to design a cradle for life consisting of materials intended to be destroyed. This symbolic virtuous circle has really brought us into the choice of materials and plants. The virtuous circle will valorize wastes destined to be destroyed in an aesthetic structure with a cleaning aspect. The plants will allow a more relaxed atmosphere. They are more and more used in enclosed spaces to create a sort of escape into a beautiful and natural world.

For the materials used, we wanted to choose fairly common waste. For this purpose, all the objects used are waste recovered within the ATELIER D’éco SOLIDAIRE.

We also examined the fact that these wastes are recurrent in everyday life. For our structure, we chose Oriented Strand Board (OSB) boards that are very commonly used in all types of construction sites around the world. These OSB planks are urban materials, very accessible to all, its raw appearance attracts more and more designers. Its properties are also interesting: it is solid, durable, of a very good quality and favors the wood from thinning (trees cut down in order to favor the development of the better trees). Then we decided to transform the plastic beer barrels to create our terrariums. These barrels are very practical to work and give a very good result. We used them because this waste will take more and more scale with its more accessible features than stainless steel drums. All the parts of this waste will be transformed, we used the bases of the barrels to turn them into the feet of our project, ” nothing is created, nothing is lost, everything changes” says Antoine Lavoisier.

Los Diablos – France

Disco Veilleuse

Disco Veilleuse Why did we choose the CD material ?

In 2018, we live in a world where information became more and more digitized. CDs and DVDs are less sold and often threw in the garbage. In a society where Netflix, Spotify and Deezer are kings, the CDs are just waste. In 2025, we think that this will be more a reality than never and the extinction of the use of CDs. Because of that and because of the plastic composition of CDs they will not be recycled well and often thrown in the garbage, as it is today. But to us, the CDs can be more. More useful, and poetic.


That’s why, with the support of wood, we chose to use CDs to embellish a night stand. Using the reflection of the light on the rainbow face of the CDs, we created a mosaic. This mosaic, when shined on by the light will reflect on the wall, creating a night light both beautiful and peaceful to sleep well. To be “not another night stand” we also chose to make our object without glue nor screw. Our object can be entirely assemble without any tools.



UEC – PNO – Spain

KidPark Project


Once the project was proposed, it started with a brainstorming session where the participants expressed their creativity and originality.

Among the ideas that emerged which most attention were:

  • A wooden bicycle (no)
  • A playground for children between 2-5 years (yes)


  1. The idea of a playground was only for the participants, for the same reason that the project was received with enthusiasm.
  2. The project ends up adapting to reality, due to its great magnitude in terms of size.
  3. The most used material has been the wood of the pallets, as well as the plastic in some structure as is the case of the slide.
  4. In Spain and in many other countries, pallets are often reused giving them a new life and use.


  • Idea 100% of the participants in the project.
  • Working group proud of the outcome of Kidpark.
  • The Kidpark will be donated to a day nursery in the area.
  • Therefore this EcoStep Youth has allowed us to create a useful project with the reuse of several materials.

Centre d’Art Social Comunitari Team – Spain

Brikbag Project

BRIKBAG: firts steps

We have made an analysis of different available materials, making tests of confection, resistance and environmental impact.

To make a decision we have analyzed different aspects:

  • Preparation time of the piece
  • Accesibility to the raw material
  • Recyclability of raw material
  • Weight of the material
BRIKBAG doc-36631

The selected material has been the brik: We had a lot of material due to our own daily consumption (milk, soups, juices … etc.). The brik continues being the most used for the sale of beverages.

“In 2012, on the EU scale, this material was produced in quantity of 936 382 Mg, from which 40% have been recycled and 29% used in energy recovery processes. Material recycling is a challenging task in case of Tetra Pak packaging”

Once the material is selected, we are dedicated to test different ways to separate the brik components: cellulose, plastic and aluminum. We tried different techniques in which the environmental impact was minimal: boiling water, soaking 24 hours, sanding …Eureka! Separating the cellulose and using the plastic and aluminum, we obtained a texture similar to a fabric: malleable, consistent and flexible. Besides, the fact of being able to wrinkle it allowed us to give that feeling “trashion” that we wanted to keep.

Brikbag CASC A3-63557

Programa de Formación e Inserción de mecànica y soldadura (PFI) – Spain


The team composed by the ambassador and 6 students of PFI in welding decided to construct a wheelchair with recycled pieces of iron and bike wheels and other materials of an old wheelchair that was dumped in the trash. This idea was brought out because they knew a girl of the neighbourhood that needs a new one and she can’t afford it, so they decided to recycle and rebuild this one.

The first steps

Once the iron and all the pices where collected they begin the to work on it.

Welding the pieces

Last step the solidary wheelchair

Solidarity with the neighbors of the territory and the youngsters work!

Colaiste Dhulaigh Team – Ireland

Shackleton Project Description

Ambassador & Team Background:

Shannon Horrigan is studying outventure management at Cholaiste Dhulaigh in Dublin, Ireland. Working as an adventure sports instructor, she witnesses on a daily basis the damaging human impact on the natural world. She believed something needed to be done to address this desperate situation and decided she would like to take part in a project which would raise awareness about environmental issues both at home and across the globe. She started to think about the people she interacts with every day, especially the other people on her course who were involved with the outdoors. She began talking to different people and asking if they would be interested in taking part in the project. She found there was a lot of interest and gathered a team of 4 other participants who all share the same views and concerns about the future of the planet.

On January 24th 2018 the team met with Kevin and Fiona from ReCreate, who went through the project outline, deadlines and requirements. At this point a brief timeline was laid out to the team, deciding when to meet to brainstorm ideas and discuss the project. Wednesday was the designated team day, where participants met weekly to deliberate the concept, process and progress. As all members of the team are in the same class, the Team Name “Team Colaiste Dhulaigh” was formed. Concept behind the design piece: The direction the team wanted to take the design concept came from a common trend that each participant had been experiencing through their shared passion for outdoor sports such as hiking, kayaking and rock climbing. While exploring the outdoors, the team have all agreed that there has been a large increase in contamination and pollution around different environments such as waterways, mountains and urban settings. The frustrations experienced by all participants while outdoors, gave a clear direction as to what they wanted to address throughout the design contest.

The teams design piece has addressed 4 categories of concern: Team Colaiste Dhulaigh/Shackleton Project Description

  • How recycling & reuse can be used to tackle the issue of homelessness.
  • How the overproduction & consumption of plastic is now affecting our wildlife.
  • The lack of effort by the human race to find new & innovative ways to reuse and recycle plastic.
  • The damaging human impact on the natural world.

The group decided that they’d like to create an interactive piece and they would each like to tackle and raise a number of issues as individuals, while at the same time working together to create one cohesive piece. The original inspiration came from the notion of “Leave No Trace” and how long the it take for materials to decompose. This sparked the idea of creating a clock to signify just how long it takes for certain materials to fully decompose.

From an aesthetic point of view, the team started to consider the impact of 12 individual pieces from a visual perspective. The team felt that the piece may be too cluttered and confusing for the viewer of the piece. With this in mind, the decision was made to work on 4 individual pieces that each team member would take full responsibility for. The team began to considered how the piece could be interactive, deciding that it might be interesting to add an element of movement to the piece. This then led to the decision to make a table with a spinning top, naming it Ceithre Cinn. This is the irish language for a group of 4.


The Story behind Ceithre Cinn:

The team wanted the base of the table to be the cohesive unit that brings all the other parts together. With all members of the team living in Dublin, they wanted something that connected both the urban environment in which they live, with the beauty of the rural countryside which they have become so accustomed to through their outdoor adventures. The team then thought of what connects these two, and came to the conclusion of contacting Iarnród Eireann, Irelands national rail network.
Having being granted access to look at what might be available at the rail yard, the team found an old Cable Reel, along with lots more unwanted wood which was the perfect material base for the table top to rest on, and also to build the table top from.

Shackleton Team Ceithre Cinn Project Background

The Last Straw Team – Ireland

The Last Straw

Did you know that over 500 million straws are used in the United States alone every day?
Drinking straws are a huge problem in our environment. In 2015 a video went viral showing the removal of a straw from a sea turtles nose and this distressed turtle touched a lot of people, including many of us in our group. As a result we decided to focus on straws, in the hopes that we could design a product that would reduce the amount making their way into the world’s oceans.

Steps are now being taken to reduce the amount of straws in use worldwide, most notably in the introduction of Straw bans and “Straws-by-request-only” policies in the UK and areas of California. Despite this the complete removal of plastic straws from the environment is a long way off. They are still offered in many venues worldwide, from restaurants to juice bars, cafes, cinemas, bars, sports grounds and many more. And with a new straw being used in every new drink, the waste generated daily is truly colossal.

Most plastic packaging is used only once; 95% of the value of plastic packaging material, worth $80-120 billion per year, is lost. Additionally, plastic packaging generates other negative consequences, valued conservatively by the UN Environment Programme at $40 billion. At current rates, by 2050 oceans are expected to contain more plastics than fish (by weight), and the entire plastics industry will consume 20% of total oil production, and 15% of the annual carbon budget.

Straws themselves are recyclable, although due to their form, they can be difficult to treat correctly. Many places do not have correct facilities to recycle them. Where such facilities do exist, their lightness and small size means that in sorting they do not often make it into the correct disposal lines. Furthermore, they can be blown away easily if they are outside, meaning they often end up in landfill or as litter.

the last straw.compressed


So we made a plan to gather and use them.
To gather straws our group proposed collection bins placed at restaurants, cinemas, bars and at recycling centres, from which they would pick them up on a regular basis. Our group began our design process by playing around with straws, testing their durability, flexibility, touch, and many other properties. We combined them in multiples, folded them around one another, twisted them together and melted them to see what sort of interesting material insights we could tease out. One interesting property that we observed was the straws ability to let light pass through. Their translucence created a pleasant glow on the straws themselves.

story board.compressed

Tyre Chair Team – Ireland

Tyre Chair Project

Why did we choose tyres?

We chose to focus our attention on bicycle tyres as they are a complex material and because of this, they are very difficult to recycle and can cause environmental pollution when disposed of incorrectly. Here at the Rediscovery Centre’s bicycle workshop, there is an endless amount of tyre waste and from here it is transported to Crossmore Tyre Recycling in County Cork where is it shredded and made into products such as equestrian rubber, tyre bales (used in flood control and road foundations) and tyre derived fuel. While this is a solution to bicycle tyre waste, we wanted to explore the design potential of this material and in the process create something that would raise awareness on this common type of waste.

There is an abundance of bicycle tyre waste around the world, especially in urban areas like large towns and cities. Dublin has seen considerable growth in bicycle use in the last 10 years, and figures are expected to keep growing. Below are two charts showing this increase:

Part of this increase in bicycle usage can be credited to initiatives such as the ‘Bike To Work’ scheme and ‘DublinBikes’, set up in order to increase the use of bicycles, reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality and promote a healthier, more eco-friendly method of daily transport.

The ‘Bike to Work’ scheme is a tax incentive scheme which aims to encourage employees to cycle to and from work. Under the scheme employers can pay for bicycles and bicycle equipment for their employees and the employee pays back through a salary sacrifice arrangement of up to 12 months. The employee is not liable for tax, PRSI, levies or the Universal Social Charge on their repayments making it an attractive option for people working in the city as they can make a saving of up to 5% of the retail price.


Why a bench?

We chose to design a public bench for a number of reasons: Many of us in the group had personal experiences of going to public parks are realising there was no place to sit down. Either there are no free benches to sit down on or none at all so for this reason we chose to focus on a park bench. Everyone gets tired and needs somewhere to sit down sometimes! We wanted to create a useful product that anyone of any age could use so there are no limitations in spreading awareness around tyre waste. We chose an outdoor bench instead of an indoor one so people had the chance to be outdoors more and enjoy the beauty of nature. This echoes one of the many reasons why people like to use bicycles!

The Design

The bench is designed to comfortably sit two people and is made from two main materials, plastic lumber for the frame and recycled bicycle tyres for the seat. Plastic lumber is a strong and hard-wearing material, commonly used in outdoor furniture and is perfect for our design and would further reinforce it as a sustainable and recycled product. Rubber tyres are durable and sturdy, making it suitable for use in our design. Its elastic properties make for a more comfortable seating experience as opposed to regular solid benches.

Apart from screws and staples, all the materials used in making the prototype were reused. We used timber salvaged from old discarded pallets, reused plywood from an old table and waste bicycle tyres from a bicycle repair shop. All materials for the build were sourced from the Rediscovery Centre in Ballymun, county Dublin. We designed the frame for Garreth to build and he showed us how to build it ourselves and helped with its construction. We did have ideas for using bike wheels as armrests but collectively decided to leave them out as they weren’t really necessary.

Initially we intended to use old rubber inner tubes in addition to bicycle tyres for our design, but following some further research into the material we found that when inner tubes are exposed to direct sunlight, the material actually begins to degrade…not at all suitable for an outdoor bench! Taking this into account we decided that in the case of damage, either through natural weathering or through vandalism, the design should allow for maintenance and repair. We added the ability to swap out tyres in case of damage which is a common issue for public furniture.

Instead of installing normal public benches constructed from conventional materials, why not utilise designs that are made from reused materials and hopefully inspire more people to think about recycling and the issues of waste.



This has been a really enjoyable experience for the team, we all agree that the best part of the project was seeing our design come to life and learning more about our creative potential when we work together as a team. Designing a product like this is not usually something that we would do and many of us were not aware of the design process or had ever heard of design thinking before Eco-Step. Coming up with concepts was fun and making something that was useful and you could actually sit on was really exciting!