– I hate plastic. That’s why we’ve engulfed on a 15-year mission to turn that into something that we actually want. We have collected around 750 new materials that are coming from our daily post-consumer waste. It can go into any consumer product at a lower cost, higher performance. First of all, let me show of hand who actually recycled something today? Wow. Okay, this is a weird audience. But guess what, guess what? There’s actually, in the United States, we have the lowest recycling rate of all the developed nations. It’s plateauing at 34% recycling rate. You look at the waste here, it has tires, apparel waste, on top of plastic bags and PET bottles. I think this is one of a big problem here, no one actually wants to be responsible for all that waste that we’re creating. We are responsible, all of us here, are responsible for this mess. Our solution is, we have to make trash sexy.
And this what National Geographic is so good about. For us engineers, that is engineering porn. Okay, so, why is that? Because this is the highest performance animal in the ocean. It’s the fastest, it has the scale that’s optimized for speed, and it’s just the purely physical form is no waste. Zero waste. Everything is considered, everything is designed. But this is what we get, every grain of rice, every wheat, every bread that you eat has 20% waste. Fiber waste. Every PET bottle, all of these are perfectly nontoxic material that can constantly be recycled, reused. And then we have growing e-waste. Electronic waste. A huge amount of it, it has precious metals, it has a lot of toxic elements.
Let me get nerdy a little bit here, okay? Why we are not turning that into a product, today, if you touch your clothes there’s no recycled content in it. There’s the seat you’re sitting on, the environment that we’re in has no recycled content in it. This is a problem. Why? Why not? The reason is that the polymer chain got broken in the recycling process. Then how do you make then strong again? If you’re a weak animal, a weak animal cannot be sexy. Maybe they are but, you know they’re not very sexy. So we are actually drawn to pretty things. So how do you make that sexy again? We have to use fiber to bridge in-between. And this is a, we go back to history, the Romans built cement aqueducts, Chinese built walls, all with agricultural waste ground down into these powder forms they mix into the cement.
What it does is, it has silicon dioxide in it, amorphous silicon dioxide. It’s a natural glue. It’s actually forming these broken polymer chains if you mix into it, it actually starts to come together, conglomerates, into much much stronger materials. The ancient does it, why aren’t we doing that today? So that’s one of the solutions how we reinforce material using organic waste. So why aren’t we doing this? Toxicity. This is a piece of leather, and that’s a piece of recycled PET fabric on the side. Just look at how many steps are required to produce and process a piece of leather fabric versus a piece of recycled PET waste. Every step requires a carbon footprint, energy, chemicals. On the recycled PET side, you only use water, heat, and knife to cut the pieces down. Why aren’t we doing this more? We invent seven new materials a month, we have collected around 750 new materials that are coming from our daily post-consumer waste.
But the problem is no one wants to buy them, okay? So we have to pioneer making up new applications. So I’ll show you very quickly what we did. This is what we call molecular cooking. Molecular cooking at all levels. Molecular gastronomy at the marketing front, new pioneering, engineering, and designing, and marketing fronts. It can go into any consumer product at a lower cost, higher performance. We have built 40 story tower with trash, campuses, nine-story tall building, museum, we just finished the biggest e-waste recycling plant where we turn the waste of waste into all the building’s structure. We’ve worked on a food waste recycling plant in Taiwan, and we are also doing a car waste recycling plant that’s finishing this year. This looks like a piece of marble.
It’s not. It’s right here. It’s a piece of recycled PET non-woven, no chemical added, heat pressed, structural material, and it’s also an air purifier. Okay, made from cigarette waste, which is tobacco, which I smoked for many years. Okay, it can be formed, shaped, into a lot of different formats, we turned it into this in Milan this year. This is a pavilion, it’s actually inspired by the natural lung molecule. And that’s actually capturing formaldehyde in the air and it’s integrated with electronics.
It’s all interlocked, single material, no glue, and I want you to focus on the waste of that cigarette butt production process, which is those chairs. We actually turned that into this furniture product using the cigarette butts. So the product’s called “Anything Butt,” okay? And this process allows other designers globally to do even more different types of furniture products. Please, this has to look sexy to you now, because this is the leftover of a typical German beer festival. Look at all that material that’s out there. This is a possibility here. And we turn that, all that crap, e-waste, food waste, recycled Nike shoes, into recycled Nike store. In New York, you can go see, in Paris, Le Marais, you can go see, in Milan, in London, you can see all these stores that are made from apparel waste and e-waste, and any type of waste.
We scale across 23 countries, taking portable manufacturing machinery into the developed world, because we want to keep the trash in the developed world, not to ship to India, China, Taiwan, anywhere else. Thank you.