NFF award: We promised them golden mountains, and that’s what they got!

The begin of the climb

A few months ago, artist Noor Nuyten got in touch with us. She was working on a project for the Nederlands Film Festival (NFF). Noor was asked to design the award for the winners of the best directorial debut prize and asked us to join in on the project.

For his award she was inspired by the photographs of Yosemite that were taken by Eadweard Muybridge. Impressed by the work of the British pioneer photographer, Noor came up with the concept of ‘De Gouden Berg’ (‘The Golden Mountain’). She designed her first version and built a prototype out of clay. Then she asked our team to make a 3D printed version of it.

De Gouden Berg award – photo: Marie Brändle

Let’s rewind: What’s the source of the material?

We wanted to use a waste stream related to the film industry itself. So we started the search for the right material. After having considered different sources, Noor got her hands on old video tape cases. These cases came with many upsides, such as the easy process of collecting and shredding them. Another advantage was that the cases were made out of Polypropylene (PP). We did a lot of research and testing with this specific type of plastic in the past few months. Once we figured out how to work with PP, this collaboration project came up. It was the very first project for which we were able to recycle PP waste and turn it into a new product.

The goal was to make the award look rich and festive. That is when we began testing different shades of gold. In addition to the golden color, we mixed 24 carat recycled gold-dust into the material. Now, every single mountain that we printed has REAL gold inside of it!

10 Years – 10 Awards – 10 Ceremonies

We’re excited to say that we printed ten golden mountains for the yearly award ceremony. Every year, the winner of the best directorial debut will be announced and awarded with one of our recycled golden mountains. That means that in the upcoming ten years, ten of the most promising young filmmakers will receive a golden mountain printed by vanPlestik. It was a great project to work on and learn from. We would like to thank Noor for the opportunity and are already looking forward to our next possible collaboration. Don’t forget to check out her work here!

Winner of 2020 – Joris Koptod – photo: ©

During the making of the award a short video was filmed. It shows all the steps we took to complete this project and it was put together really nicely! Want to take a look? Check it out here:

Filmprijs van de stad Utrecht: De Gouden Berg

Students, Hotels ánd plastic recycling?

An interview with the Impact Manager of The Student Hotel: Amber Westerborg 

The Student Hotel offers accommodation for students, hotel guests, co-workers and anyone in the neighbourhood interested in stopping by for a cup of coffee. They focus on making their hotels as sustainable as possible. Waste management is one of the key pillars of their sustainability strategy. That’s where vanPlestik and TSH found common ground to work on. 
For their latest hotel in Delft, TSH’s Amber Westerborg and vanPlestik worked closely together on a new sustainability project. We sat down for an interview with her to find out what TSH does to operate in a sustainable manner.

TSH invites students to stay with us, to be inspired, to find their purpose and to go out and change the world for the better”

With every new hotel The Student Hotel opens, they aim to raise their sustainability-bar even higher. The older hotels are also a part of this transition, and are constantly changing in order to become as sustainable as possible.

Amber Westenborg: Impact Manager of The Student Hotel

No pain, no gain

Working on sustainability for 14 hotels in six different countries (and 15 more hotels on the way!), it can be difficult to maintain uniformity. Luckily, Amber has quite a pragmatic approach to implementing sustainability-related projects. If something turns out to work in one hotel, it will be applied to the new ones as well, and vice-versa. If an experiment in a new hotel proves to work, it is applied in already existing hotels. This way, they are able to learn fast and create a balance between all hotels.

Behaviour is key

It is of great concern to Amber to not only create these sustainable systems, but to also engage TSH’s students and guests to make them work. She states that it’s not always easy to change people’s mindsets. By teaching them about waste and plastic for example, Amber hopes that the students will take something with them and leave with a changed point of view towards sustainability.

“Ideally, we use our hotels as an educational journey, not in a disciplined manner, but in a fun, interactive and creative manner.

Conscious decisions lead to a groundbreaking floor!

TSH is currently working on opening a new location in Delft where they take their commitment to sustainability to another level. Amber describes this hotel as being their testing ground for circularity. She explains that the complete ground floor of the hotel was built according to circular design principles. Everything, from the windows down to the floor, is made out of sustainable materials. Examples include black steel that hasn’t been powdercoated, curtains made from recycled textiles, and a countertop made from recycled plastic bottle caps.

Interior Design Photo Shoot of The Student Hotel Berlin | TSH Berlin - Official Images by Sal Marston Photography

As we write this, our team is creating a unique product for the entrance of the hotel. We were able to replace single-use decorations with a long-lasting circular solution. The unveiling of TSH Delft and our special product will be in September. Stay tuned!

Upcycled waste bins for HEMA

A product to create zero-waste headquarters

Over the last year, we have been working on our biggest collaboration project yet. We are excited to finally share the results of our project for the retail chain HEMA.

We designed and 3D printed almost 200 waste bins for their headquarters. Using old make-up displays from the HEMA stores, we created four different kinds of bins: One bin for paper, one for organic waste, one for regular waste and one for coffee cups. Together, these four bins complete one waste separation station.

The complete package: A custom-made and user-friendly design

To ensure the usability of these stations, we included helpful aspects in the design. Among these are the various colors and sizes of the bins, multiple cut-out lids and engraved labels. Another unique product characteristic is that the HEMA logo is embossed on the side, which adds a personal touch to the bins.

Closing the recycling loop

This project guided us through an exciting year of designing, testing and prototyping. By making these stations out of their own waste, HEMA Nederland was able to recycle a used product and get a new one in return. This project is one of our favorite examples to show how we can upcycle an old product and contribute to closing the loop of plastic recycling.

Are you curious about what we could create out of your plastic waste? Send us an email to for potential collaborations.