Each year we search the globe for people and projects that have outstandingly contributed to make this planet a more sustainable place and honour them with our ECO Coin Award. We search for people working on projects that are community driven, use nature and technology in an innovative way, and share their knowledge with others.
This year's winner explores the future of plastics. When thinking about plastic, we tend to think of an omnipresent material that pervades our environments. A used coffee cup, an empty coke bottle or a plastic bag. Imagine living in a world where plastic was highly valuable, like gold or platinum. Only rarely in your life would you encounter a piece of plastic.
If plastic were to be more expensive, we would see the beauty in the material, instead of throwing away so much. Plastic’s structure is light, strong and molded with great precision and can be easily transformed into something else. This year’s winner speculates if plastics could one day become a rare commodity that we desire and mine from the depths of the earth’s crust.
Normally we would find a moment to physically handover the coin, but the lockdown unfortunately compromised that plan. We therefore—once again—picked up our screens and this time we asked NNN director Koert van Mensvoort to record a video announcement for this year's winner.
This year's ECO Coin Award winner is Shahar Livne.
Shahar reconsiders our relationship and our perspective to plastic by envisioning it as a new material in the ecology of planet earth. Her work addresses this by artificially geomimicing metamorphisms as a design tool. She shares with us the speculative material; the “lithoplast”, mined from the future ecology of the earth.
Shahar contemplates from microbial perspectives, wondering will microbes evolve to be able to digest plastic in our surroundings? The level of ecological intelligence her work brings into our society, along with the kinds of questions Shahar asks, is why we announce her as the winner of our 2020 ECO Coin Award.