Plastic Rivers

Plastic Rivers, a monumental collection of rugs woven with yarn made from recycled plastic debris. The rugs portray precise renderings of aerial images of some of the planet’s most polluted rivers. Thus it’s become a product manifesto that conveys a critical perspective on plastic contamination, particularly in our vital bodies of water, as for the global commercialization of waste from rich to poor countries.

The Plastic Rivers rugs are much more than a sophisticated work of protest design. The rugs were handcrafted by artisans, stitch by stich, pixel by pixel, to recreate aerial Google Earth panoramas of the rivers featured in the collection. Despite their imposing proportions and strong aesthetics, the rugs blend almost seductively into any space.

This design project is a collaboration between ACdO and the Spanish company GAN Rugs.


Plastic Rivers Process

Crafted using the hand-tufted technique, the rugs in the Plastic Rivers collection are made without knots, using yarn produced from recycled PET plastic bottles. The composition of the Plastic River No.6 Ganges rug is particularly special since the recycled material was collected from the surroundings of the river represented.

The textile work is carried out by GAN’s team of local artisans at workshops in India. The result is a very soft, resistant, and durable weave that, according to the designer, “makes you wonder whether it is really made of PET and not wool.” But unlike a wool rug, the Plastic Rivers rugs are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, and their 100% recycled composition makes them fully recyclable at the end of their long life.



Plastic Rivers Details

Designed by
Alvaro Catalán de Ocón

Area: 3 x 4 m.

Technical specification
This product is suitable for outdoor and indoor use.
Packed (3 meters long x diameter 50 cm). Weight: 70 kg.

Handmade from 100% recycled PET using the hand-tufted technique