We would like to present to you Kuskoa Bi by Alki; the first bioplastic chair. Designer Jean Louis Iratzoki has created this chair with a beautiful moulded shell made from a plant base polymer that is completely recyclable and biodegradable. Bioplastic can be injected, extruded and thermoformed but it is made from 100% plant-based renewable resources (beet, corn starch, sugarcane, etc). Another significant environmental aspect lies in its reduced carbon footprint as bioplastic production results in reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
“We decided that the collection we are presenting for Alki, Kuskoa Bi, had to be a comfortable, enveloping chair and to achieve this we opted for a semi-concave shell,” said Iratzoki. Injection-moulded seats are commonly formed from non-renewable plastics, produced using finite fossil fuels that are considered harmful to the environment – something Iratzoki wanted to avoid. “The production of plastic not only depletes the world’s diminishing fossil resources, it is also a pollutant that harms the environment and is therefore contrary to Alki’s fundamental principles on sustainable development,” the designer said.
As an alternative, Iratzoki’s studio researched and developed a type of plastic that is made using only renewable plant-based resources such as beet, corn starch and sugarcane. The compound is obtained using a series of mechanical processes, followed by a fermentation period. The resulting polymer can be injected, extruded and thermoformed into the desired shape. “This bio-based polymer is fully recyclable and its organic properties mean that, when subjected to an industrial process, it is biodegradable,” said Iratzoki. Shaped to support the arms and back, the shell sits within an solid oak frame that cups the underside of the seat.