Portable water device designed to help world’s poorest wins PVC Redesigned competition 2019

Karen Silva picks up the first place award for her water filtration and storage device, ‘Yuna’.

The winner of the VinylPlus UK, IOM3 and MaDE 2019 PVC Redesigned competition has been announced as Karen Silva of London South Bank University, for her ‘Yuna’ portable water filtration and storage device. Second place was awarded to Kristen Tapping for her ‘Tectum’ water collection roof system and third place was awarded to Helene Benz’s teams’ ‘Nari menstrual cup sanitiser’.

The competition was part of the British Plastics Federation’s VinylPlus UK project ‘Designing in a Circular Economy with PVC’. As recycling is well established within the PVC sector, the aim was to engage designers to showcase innovative concepts for the sustainable reuse of PVC. This involved various applications of the material, both rigid and flexible, industrial and consumer.

The winning entries focused on real world challenges from access to clean drinking water, efficient storage and reuse of rain water, to menstrual hygiene in developing nations. Associate Professor Robin Jones of London South Bank University noted:

“The designs showed both creative flair and an attention to detail, and in tackling real-world issues demonstrated a great depth of thought into the product’s lifecycle and practical use.”

Karen Silva’s Yuna portable water purifier was designed to help members of the world’s poorest communities store and purify water, and was lauded by the judges as “an excellent concept well explained that clearly solves a social need”. Tectum was a prefabricated PVC roofing and rain catching system designed to efficiently store and reuse rainwater – the judges were particularly impressed with the “limited rework and level of detail” shown in the design. Third place, the ‘Nari’ menstrual cup sanitiser, addressed another pressing issue in the developing world.

Matt Davies, Senior Industrial Issues Executive at the British Plastics Federation, stated:

“Recycling is a strong part of the PVC industry, with nearly 740,000 tonnes of the material recycled in 2018 in Europe. These novel reuse applications offer an exciting new avenue for the material, complimenting recycling efforts whilst addressing key sustainable development goals.”

The finalists were presented their awards and prize money at the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining on 29 May 2019.

For more information on the winning designs, please visit https://www.bpf.co.uk/Sustainability/designing-in-a-circular-economy-with-pvc.aspx

A guide detailing the winners, their designs and the competition will soon be launched to further highlight the initiatives created by the students.

For further information on the PVC Redesigned Competition, contact Matt Davies at mdavies@bpf.co.uk.