The Plastic Museum – Designed to be Recycled

Plastics offer considerable benefits to society; however, the challenges linked to their end-of-life management mean that these benefits are frequently overshadowed in the public’s perceptions of the sector.

Showcasing the value of plastics through disruptive communication

To address this issue, EsPlásticos (the Spanish plastics value-chain platform) collaborated with more than 35 companies and communications partner Shackleton to create The Plastic Museum – Designed to be Recycled. A world first, the museum was designed to show, through a disruptive communication action, the value of plastics to society, their circularity potential and demonstrate that, when managed correctly, these materials can help us overcome many societal challenges.

The Plastic Museum was built in Madrid on 8 May 2021 and closed on 17 May 2021, International Recycling Day. It was then dismantled and recycled into a collection of products labelled “I Used to be a Museum”.

The Plastic Museum showcased three elements:

  • • The transformational power of plastics
  • • The value of plastics for society in key sectors
  • • Their circularity potential is when all societal agents work together in their end-of-life management and the solutions that already exist to improve their circularity

The museum was extremely well received by both the public and the media. More than 4,000 people visited the museum during the nine days it was open, while the media and social media campaigns reached an estimated 60 million people.

Demolishing myths about plastics

The Plastic Museum helped convey the concept that plastics are beneficial to society and can contribute to its sustainable development, provided we manage them correctly once we’ve used them. When the value of plastics is shown and explained with tangible examples from daily life, people recognise that value and understand that the real challenge is the management of plastic waste, and that their contribution as citizens is crucial if we are to overcome this challenge.

Commenting on the project at the opening ceremony, Alicia Martín, General Manager of Plastics Europe in the Iberica Region and spokesperson of EsPlásticos, said:

“The plastics industry is one of the largest sectors in Spain. We represent 21% of the manufacturing industry in our country and 2.7% of the Spanish GDP. However, we sparsely claim everything that our sector does for a more sustainable world. Hopefully, this museum is the beginning of a new way of relating to citizens to help them demolish myths and prejudices and raise awareness about the importance of recycling and reuse.”

Alicia MartíN – General Manager of Plastics Europe in the Iberica Region and spokesperson of EsPlásticos