10 plastic benches created out of Tomorrowland festival rubbish


Environmental group teams up with Leuven brewing giant AB InBev to give new life to plastic mountain via 3D printing

From beaker to bench

More than 500kg of plastic that was thrown away during last year’s Tomorrowland music festival has been given a second life in the form of furniture.

Using a 3D printer created by Brussels-based environmental initiative The One Project, the waste – much of it from drinks containers – was turned into benches that are now in use at the Leuven headquarters of brewery AB InBev.

AB InBev has been working with festival organisers, the Flemish waste management society Ovam and recycling organisation Fost Plus to increase awareness of recycling and waste among festival-goers. Last year, 25,000 campers at the event in Boom, Antwerp province, were given colour-coded bags and asked to use them to sort their rubbish. Anyone who handed in plastic bottles received a branded bottle opener, 3D-printed on site from recycled plastic.

“We’re encouraging people inside and outside the company to recycle and sort their rubbish properly,” Jean-Jacques Velkeniers, AB InBev president for West Europe, told Leuven Actueel. “As Belgians, we’re proud of our beer and want to be able to keep brewing for a long time. So sustainability and green policy are crucial.” The company’s aims include making 100% of its packaging from recycled or reusable materials by 2025.

The One Project recently developed a mobile 3D printer capable of creating large objects like benches. It will be used to recycle plastic from this summer’s Tomorrowland and Pukkelpop festivals, before being demonstrated at Essenscia, the chemical industry federation, in September.

Photo: Luc Vanheerenthals/Belga