Recycled plastic gets beautiful with these vessels

Wael Seaiby, a graduate of the University of Edinburgh, has designed Plag, a series of glass and ceramic looking vessels made from recycled plastic.

From the Series

Wael Seaiby has combined his environmental concerns with design acumen to produce a series of vessels made from recycled plastic bags and shaped to resemble ceramics and glassware.

Named Plag – a portmanteau of "plastic" and "bag"– the series of vessels takes advantage of plastic, a material that is often written off as cheap and useless after the first use. “Recycled plastic is often dismissed as cheap or tasteless, especially aesthetically,” says Seaiby. “Plag aims to challenge that notion by delivering a line of hand-worked vessels that are reminiscent of glass or ceramic craftsmanship.”

The vessels are created through a four-part process. Using a pressurised steal mould, heat and pressure are applied to piles of shopping bags and the designer found that they would turn into rigid plastic sheets. Seaiby then grinds the plastic sheets down into tiny pellets and these pellets are moulded around existing bowls and vases.

The vessels have distinctive colours that reveal the truth of their origins, whether it is a Sainsburys supermarket or a local takeaway shop. It takes anything between 80 to 120 plastic bags to create one vessel.  

"With heat and pressure, the colour intensity really changes," Seaiby told Icon. "A single bag is a bit transparent, but when you stack a hundred of the same colour on top of each other, it becomes really bright.”

Plag is a study in self-sufficiency in the process of resourcing materials and making products through experimentation. Seaiby is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh.