It is intended to encourage people to think more carefully about how they contribute to the vast global consumption of plastics, which has resulted in vast amounts of pollution in the world’s oceans.
“I want to make people reflect on their use of single-use plastics, make them more aware of their footprint,” Neill told Dezeen. “There are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean, so this is a drop in the ocean compared to the scale of the problem, but every bit counts.”
Neill started the project by developing a material he calls “ocean terrazzo”. This is made in the same way as regular terrazzo, but instead of using chips of marble or granite, Neill set hundreds of tiny pieces of plastic into a resin surface.
The designer first showcased the material in 2016, with the Gyro table he presented during the London Design Biennale. A year later, he has used it to create a new collection, called Flotsam, which includes a bench and a basin-like coffee table.
All three pieces are designed to make the waste material look like something beautiful.
“It starts off quite hideous – so brightly coloured, and mutated from what it originally was,” explained Neill. “It was probably just a cheap, single-use plastic that was used for seconds, maybe a minute. But it could take potentially 500 years to degrade.”
“Maybe taking something that is quite hideous and making is…