Precious Waste, a new temporary exhibition at the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie, from December 5, 2023

Precious Waste, which opens on December 5 at the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie, invites us to be aware of the mountain of waste produced by the productivist economy and advocates a drastic reduction in its amount.

It highlights a new generation of designers who are rethinking our relationship with everyday objects. Giving a second life to waste is not incompatible with aesthetics and innovation, on the contrary: the exhibition overturns the accepted notion that sustainable materials and objects are necessarily old-fashioned or ugly, and reveals the – until now ignored – value of waste.

The very significant use of plastic objects, the design of everyday objects created for single use or even planned obsolescence: our waste production has been constantly intensifying in the last two centuries and especially since the middle of the 20th century.

This first part of the exhibition points to the functioning of mass production and consumption. The public is discovering the consequences of excessive consumption of plastics and other materials and the resulting waste. Using data visualizations, photographs and disposable objects, the exhibition shows the scale of the global waste problem and the urgent need to change the way we think and consume.

The excesses of our disposable economy create huge amounts of waste: 90% of the raw materials used to make items become waste before they even leave the factory, and 80% of items are thrown away within the first six months of their life. Objects abandoned in landfills, plastic products collected from the seas, clothes, food products, structural elements or even electronic components: what if what we throw away had value?

Elliot Frost

"Pop culture maven. Analyst. Writer. Wannabe food evangelist. Organizer. Friendly internet lover. Incurable troublemaker. Entrepreneur."