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Precious Plastic WANA Conference 2018

16. – 17. December 2018
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Organised by NYU Abu Dhabi, NTSI-Lab

Contact person: Prof. Felix Beck, email:, telephone: +971-26285241

example process of recycling plastic

The two day event looks at the increasing pollution of ecosystems in the WANA region with plastic waste, and is
interested in how communities address this issue by using low cost plastic recycling systems.

example process of recycling plastic

Sustainability | Plastic Recycling | Innovation | Education | Community | Design | Engineering | Environment

About the conference

The conference is structured around increasing plastic waste pollution in desert and marine ecosystems in the WANA region1 and is interested in how
communities address this issue by using low cost plastic recycling systems.

On the first day of the conference, national and international speakers will present their shared perspective on: the waste problem; industrial production of plastic from the Precious Plastic Community including low-cost machinery and production of machines, material studies and innovative products; and related entrepreneurship. The parallel exhibition 'Plastic Fantastic' will feature artists and project works that relate to the theme of re-use of plastic.

On Day 2, there will be an Introductory Workshop by the Precious Plastic community on the constructing of a shredder, extruder and injection molding machine, followed by a field trip to the Abu Dhabi Mangrove National Park to help the local community cleaning the ecosystem from plastic waste.

Call for participation

Update: Notifications will follow by 20. October 2018. If you are intersted in participating as a speaker, please send a 300-word abstract about your topic/field of expertise. Please include in which session you would like to particpate (session 1–5, or workshop), as well as a short bio, and send it by 15 October 2018 to: Felix Beck, NYU Abu Dhabi (

NYUAD will cover roundtrip economy airfare and campus accommodations for the invited speakers:
Check-in December 15, Check-out December 18 (3 nights).

If you are intersted in participating as an artist at the 'Plastic Fantastic' exhibition, please send a description of your artwork, and its context to the use/re-use of plastic by 15 November 2018 to: Felix Beck, NYU Abu Dhabi ( Notifications will follow by 20. November 2018.

Online registration

There is an online registration for interested guests, scholars, and community members that would like to attend the conference as audience.
Please register on the following website.


About the organisers

Precious Plastic is a global community of hundreds of people who are working towards a solution to plastic pollution. The project was initiated by D. Hakkens in 2013 who has shared his knowledge, tools, and techniques online. With this data available for free, the project has been picked up by many people around the world who have built plastic recycling machines and have created small scale impacts in their communities. The NYU Abu Dhabi branch is active in supporting this global project and community, and is very happy to contribute by organising the Precious Plastic WANA Conference at New York University Abu Dhabi.

NYUAD Institute (website) in a series of public events brings people together to experience vitally new ideas and discuss pressing global issues. The Institute presents academic conferences, research workshops, public lectures, conversations with authors and artists, films, and co-sponsors exhibitions in both Abu Dhabi and New York. Find more information about previous events here.

NYU Abu Dhabi, Department of Engineering (website): Engineering at NYUAD is designed to create technological leaders with a global perspective, a broad education, and the capacity to think creatively. A distinctive element of our undergraduate programs lie in the integration of design and innovation in every year of the curriculum: students enjoy a learning environment conducive to creativity, which is at the heart of tomorrow’s technological innovations. Engineering research at NYU Abu Dhabi crosses the boundaries of traditional engineering disciplines and encompasses broad interdisciplinary areas that embody key characteristics of our age. The faculty are involved in new and emerging technological fields, such as bioengineering, nanotechnology, microfabrication, smart materials, and cyber security.

The Lab for Narrative Technologies and Spatial Installations ( is an interdisciplinary Design Research Lab in the Engineering Department of New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD). Within NYUAD's Future Cities research cluster, and as part of the Center for Smart Cities, the research focus is on projects in the realm of Experimental Sustainable Designs, Future Technologies, and Social Compositions & Communal Infrastructures. NTSI's Principal Investigator, Felix Beck (Assistant Professor of Practice of Design) envisions systems and spaces, and creates and deploys innovative objects through design and engineering tools. His work has been featured in a range of art and design publications and has gone on to several exhibitions and international design festivals. At NYU Abu Dhabi he leads a team of students that works with different plastic recycling machines, and that are interested in using recycled plastic as a ressource for prototypes, as well as the development of new products.

About the venue

The conference will take place at NYU Abu Dhabi Campus, Building A6, Conference Center, Campus Map (PDF)

NYU Abu Dhabi, NYU New York, and NYU Shanghai form the backbone of a fully connected global network. As one of the three major hubs in the global network, NYUAD creates a unique capacity for faculty and students to access the assets of the entire university system. As a research university with a fully integrated liberal arts and science college NYUAD draws students from around the world, and prepares them for the challenges and opportunities of our interconnected world. NYU Abu Dhabi equips students for leadership in all arenas of human endeavor. It fosters curiosity, creativity, and critical reflection, and stimulates advanced research. The NYUAD Institute is a major research center. Research is integral to the undergraduate experience at NYU Abu Dhabi, and it will also drive the University's graduate programs.

  1. The WANA region is made up 27 countries with a combined population of 600 million from Morocco in the west, to Pakistan and Afghanistan in east, Turkey in north, and Ethiopia and Sudan in the south.