How many times can molded cardboard pulp be reused? A lot, as it turns out, stretching this seemingly fragile and short-lived material through several lifetimes. Designer Victor Vetterlein created a series of lamps called ‘Trash Me’ that are made from reclaimed cardboard egg cartons, which typically use recycled materials in the first place.
Though they’re biodegradable, cardboard egg cartons can’t be recycled at many facilities, so they usually just end up in the trash. Vetterlein mashed up the cartons and smoothed the resulting pulp over a mold by hand, allowing it to dry for several days.
The result is a series of surprisingly sturdy lamps and shades. The desk lamp is made from four egg cartons and has a bag of birdseed inside the base to weigh it down. The rest of the components, including the bulb, cord and metal fasteners, can be reused.
The intent was to create a product that could be made from trash, and returned to the trash in short order, but not before getting some more use out of it.