Garrett Benisch designs Sum Waste pen derived from human sewage - architecture and design

Garrett Benisch designs Sum Waste pen derived from human sewage



Pratt Institute graduate Garrett Benisch has proposed using biosolids, the organic matter derived from treated sewage, to produce a compostable ballpoint pen and its ink.
Benisch, who just graduated from New York's Pratt Institute with a degree in industrial design, created the Sum Waste pen for his thesis project.
The curvy, translucent writing instrument made from biosolids was featured in the university's year-end design show and won first place in a national competition organised by research group Healthy Materials Lab.
Benisch has proposed using biosolids to create a more sustainable pen
Benisch focused on biosolids as he wanted to find a use for the organic matter that derived from treated sewage, which regularly ends up in landfill. For the past decade, New York City has been dumping an average of 2.8 million pounds (1,250 imperial tons) of biosolids per day into landfills, according to Benisch. Meanwhile, a plethora of disposable pens are thrown away each year in America.
He created a resin prototype of the design for his graduate thesis project
To create the more sustainable pen, Benisch collaborated with New York's Department of Environmental Protection and an undisclosed California-based startup focused on polyhydroxyalkanoate, or PHA, a bioplastic derived from wastewater.
PHA is made by feeding biosolids to a specific type of bacteria, which converts the material into a natural polymer, or bioplastic. PHA has similar properties to regular plastic, but it is biod...
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