Our project aims to collect plastic bottles (PET) around Barcelona and create a sustainable process of breaking them down to create usable material to produce a new bio upcycling stream for making packaging for companies around the city to combat the waste created by tourism. The recent discovery of enzymes that digest previously non-biodegradable plastics offers up the possibilities for bringing the plastic recycling sector into the realm of biotechnology.

The primary process for our circular system is to identify locations we can collect plastic water bottles and use coffee grounds to produce the foundation of our project. To create the Zalerion Maritimum enzymes to break down the plastic, we must grow the fungi. The best way to do this is to collect used coffee grounds as a food source for the fungi to develop and produce the enzymes to break down the plastic. Once we have the enzymes, we can use them to break down the plastic collected to make monomers (EG РPHA) to create material for 3D printers. Once we have the materials for 3D printing, the EG РPHA can be used to produce packaging and other products, which creates the sustainable  circular stream of biodegradable products to help curve the excess waste produced through tourism.

Saprophytic Cityscapes is a project of IAAC, the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia developed during the Master in Advanced Architecture 2021/2022 by students: Angelo Desole, Brian Woodtli, Jack Davis, Weihao Yin and Zachary Eisenberg; Faculty: IAAC.