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london cityscape ruined by recyclable waste problem

Garbage Cities: Iconic World Skylines Recreated with Recyclable Waste

Everyday in the news we read more and more about the world’s recycling problem. After the recent decision from China, the largest importer of recyclable materials, to ban foreign waste, the West are faced with the difficulty of recycling themselves. This is on top of the current struggles to get people to recycle, which is proving enough of a challenge anyway. Currently, there’s a war on plastic straws, in particular, happening. Environmentalists have recently won the Queen’s vote to get rid of them completely, after she dismissed them from the royal properties. But you know all this already, you’ve seen the headlines. What you perhaps don’t know, or struggle to visualise, is just how much an issue the population’s waste actually is, and this is where we come into things.

We thought it would make quite a statement if we reconstructed iconic cityscapes, or landmarks, of the biggest nations using recyclable material. Recycling is an issue we need to face and when you see iconic landmarks ruined by uncontrollable waste, it certainly makes you think about the current climate.


The famous London bridge skyline. The London eye, London Bridge, Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. The tourist hotspots you are so used to seeing, reconstructed out of waste. Fun fact, HP sauce is named after the Houses of Parliament, so we incorporated that local branded product into our new cityscape.

london cityscape ruined by recyclable waste problem

Did you know local authorities collect 3.7 million tonnes of waste from the England’s capital city each year, with the average household producing almost a tonne of garbage alone per year. A report from April 2017 found that London used more plastic bottled water than elsewhere in the UK, yet they have the worst record for recycling. Similarly, the UK is responsible for 7 million tonnes of food waste each year. London throws away 890,000 tonnes, of which 540,000 tonnes could be unnecessary.

New York

A series of skyscrapers and the Statue of Liberty. A bustling city like New York produces 12,000 tons of garbage every day. Unless a solution is found soon, the most recognisable woman in the country will probably end up holding your used Starbucks cup.

new york cityscape ruined by recyclable waste problem

In 2015 a report revealed New York produced 33 million tonnes of garbage each year, more than double Tokyo, in second place. New York was found to be the worst city for garbage disposal. It was also found that only a 1/3 of this rubbish was recycled.


The Eiffel Tower and its stunning grounds is a romantic destination that many couples soar to for special moments in their relationship. When recreated using glass bottles, plastic folks and tin cans, it doesn’t quite have the same romanticism.

paris cityscape ruined by recyclable waste problem

In 2015 a report suggested less than a quarter of households in France recycled as they should, putting them behind a lot of their European counterparts. While France have since taken movements to counter this issue, there’s still a long way to go to solve the nation’s waste problem.