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Foreign Garbage

2018 -  

Recycled expanded polystyrene,  18cm X 11cm

This project uses a the beaconing cat or Maneki-neko as a tool for discussion around plastic waste. Historically the UK has sent 30% of all its waste to China, however as of 1st March 2018 China has enacted a ban on all ‘foreign garbage’. This has created massive problems for countries like the UK who have relied upon China to dispose of their rubbish, subsequently meaning there is no domestic infrastructure to deal with this waste. Exploring this issue the project focuses on one specific waste stream - expanded polystyrene or EPS. This material is solely used for packaging, so the root of the problem is in fact about an excess of buying rather than an excess of waste. By taking a product that is symbolic of ‘Made in China’ manufacturing and making it with the waste that was intended to be sent to them we can start to question the status quo around how we treat materials like plastic and start to think of the absurdity of shipping these products around the globe.  

This project is Shortlisted for the Mullenlowe NOVA award and the 'Green Trail' Maison/0 award 2018.

It has also been exhibited at Milan Design Week 2018 as part of Ventura Futures.

Film by Nicolas Canal and Katie-May Boyd

A limited edition of 10 cats are for sale at £250 each, for more details please get in touch at

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