Denbighshire Company creates COP26 sculpture from recycled plastic waste

A Denbighshire based company is to showcase a UK renowned artist’s recycled sculpture built using a material formed from their process of recycling unwanted plastic waste at the UN COP26 Climate Conference.

Artist Mark Weighton has created a fire ravaged forest sculpture made entirely from Plastecowood’s Smartawood, the company’s proprietary recycled plastic lumber, made possible by mainly plastic waste from homes.

Denbighshire County Council’s Lead Member for Waste, Transport and the Environment, Cllr Brian Jones, was invited to the Bodelwyddan based business to view the sculpture before it was transported to Glasgow to take pride of place at the UN climate conference.

For over 30 years Mark, from Surrey, has been creating works that explore a vision of the interconnected nature of existence.

Made on site at Plastecowood, the artwork titled ‘Burnt Wood’ represents five charred trees rising from a barren block landscape, while integral patches of bright colour emerge from the burnt wood indicating that all might not be lost to the climate crisis inferno.

Mark’s recycled plastic based sculpture will be situated outside the conference to provide a social focal point for people to sit on and engage with the vital issues to be discussed throughout the event.

He said: “Smartawood was the ideal product to use for this sculpture. In its regular black form, it is reminiscent of charred wood. Being 100 per cent recycled from rejected mixed plastic packaging waste, it also allowed me to tell an optimistic story. One where humanity makes a positive intervention to repurpose the unwanted and toxic into something sustainable, useful and hopefully carbon neutral.

“In fact this sculpture is a carbon-negative construction which can easily be recycled into fresh construction materials when no longer required in its current form.

The artist plans to take the sculpture on a tour around the UK and Europe next year.

Plastecowood create Smartawood by using a cost-effective proprietary process that coverts unwanted mixed waste plastic into a useful, durable and recyclable product that can be used in a wide range of applications including outdoor pub furniture, boardwalk replacements and shipping structures for high value end products.

Every tonne of Smartawood created saves at least 700kg of carbon from landfill, recycles over 25,000 plastic containers and saves 2.5 trees from being chopped down.

Henning von Spreckelsen, Technical Director at Plastecowood said: “We are veryproud to support Mark’s amazing work and also to show to the world that the Denbighshire business industry is getting behind the importance of COP26.

“We receive plastic waste, mainly via household collections and reprocess it to produce the recycled plastic lumber: planks, boards, posts, containers and assemblies, mainly for external uses, as well as bespoke items.

Cllr Brian Jones said: “We were delighted to be invited to Plastecowood to view such an impressive and important sculpture with the story it carries, especially with the work the Council is doing as well to highlight the COP26 climate change messages on a local county level.

“It is great to see a Denbighshire company getting right behind such a vital climate and ecological conference through supporting Mark’s work and we look forward to hearing about the impact this amazing county formed sculpture of recycled plastic material will make up at Glasgow.”