BFF is a design and engineering studio focused on transforming waste streams, especially plastics, into valuable products and systems.
Better Future Factory is an organization and incubator born from a group of engineers and designers to support collaborative innovation, social design and sustainable start-ups. It involves entrepreneurs with high technical knowledge with the aim to redesign waste streams and transform it into resource, applying a Circular Economy approach. BFF manages a wide range of projects, ranging from food waste recycling to education, that share the common feature of being decentralised, small in scale and focus on market niches.
The key material they focus on is the plastic, which is turned into innovative valuable solutions such as: marble-like product, 3D printer filament from old car dashboards, energy. In particular, the GP of Perpetual Plastic originates from the willingness to find a sustainable solution to the large amount of plastic waste daily produced: this in most cases is thrown away after a single use, even though the material quality is still high. Therefore, Better Future Factory designed a mobile recycling station that enables to 3D-print several objects using as a raw material a plastic filament extruded from the waste plastic and that can be easiy moved and installed during events. The peculiarity of the GP is also related to the education of users through the learning by doing method. The station is divided in 4 sections: the material is cleaned and shredded, the filament is extruded, the product is printed.
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Evidence of success
Since 2012, BFF has realized more than 15 project. The project Perpetual Plastic alone took part to 28 events with the involvement of about 255.000 people and an amount of cups shredded of about 490,866.000 units. In addition to this, it proves to be particularly interesting for its educational feature: through learning by doing, users become truly aware not only of the problem, but also of the possible solutions that could be implemented, thanks to more recent advances in technology.
Potential for learning or transfer
The whole activity of BFF is interesting to be transferred for the creation of a studio which combines together engineering and design competences to develop sustainable projects focused on supporting Circular Economy on a small scale, applying a multidisciplinary and unconventional approach to the topic.
The specific case study of Perpetual Plastics (PP) offers an example of this.
Improper disposal of plastics is a problem that affects all countries around the world; even though many initiatives has been put into place to limit the phenomenon, it still remains an unsolved issue. The proof of the relevance of the problem and the interest towards such project is provided by the success of PP, which has already been presented in many different occasions and contexts. Another way of transferring the practice can involve the replication of the same idea to other types of waste though the creation of a moving station that fosters the learning by doing of users.