- story by MaterialDistrict
Lithoplast is an experimental composite material made of residues from industrial waste streams:
- Recycling – a mixture of different plastics and dirt that cannot be recycled or is not sorted. Usually sent to incineration or landfills.
- Mining – minestone/colliery spoil, a solid residual material from the mining of coal containing sandstone, shale, mudstone and coal fragments.
- Quarrying – dust residues.
As the threat of depleting oil resources approaches, future petroleum-based plastics production will dramatically decrease. As a result, the discarded waste from the present era might be seen as a rare and natural resource that could be mined from deep underground.
The name Lithoplast suggests its abilities: Lithos, meaning “stone”, and Plast, meaning “capable of being shaped or moulded”. Lithoplast is made through a process inspired by Metamorphism (the same geological process that transforms limestone into marble) and after heating can be shaped in a similar way to clay. It is a speculative driven material that questions the notions of what is man-made and what is natural, what is bad and what is good, while illustrating shifts in material values and resources.
Lithoplast is a material illustration inspired by what researchers assume will happen to plastic pollution within the geological strata of the earth. By materialising the shifting boundaries between the synthetic and the natural, between the current value and speculative value of plastics, one can grasp a more unusual and honest amoral perspective on pollution. Lithoplast creates a functional union of wastes from multiple industries, and suggests a new, pliable material future.
Lithoplast is an experiment and no samples can be supplied as of yet.