Registration for #OTB3 conference closes on April 14th!

Register today – https://wp.lancs.ac.uk/otb3-2023/registration/

Opening the Bin 3 – Waste, economy, culture and society: ‘One World, one Bin?’

15th-17th June 2023


In April 2017 close to 100 scholars from the social sciences and the humanities from all over the world met for the first time at Lund University to discuss waste, culture and society during the Opening the bin conference in Helsingborg. The second conference Re-open the Bin was held online in May 2021, hosted by the University of Gothenburg, Sweden and attracted over 100 participants online. Both conferences were organized by a constellation of waste researchers. It is now time to Open the Bin again.


Lancaster University Management School, Bailrigg, Lancaster, LA1 4YX


Social Media:
Twitter: @OpeningtheBin
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/openingthebin
Instagram: @openingthebin

Core organising and steering committee:

Additional organizing committee:

OTB Social media team:

PhD Thesis

2023, Dimitrijevic, Katarina. 2023. Visualising Plastic Ocean Pollution: Designing Waste Ontologies. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]https://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/33131


It is challenging to comprehend the extent of oceanic plastic pollution because of the sea depth and currents. This PhD by practice in design uses marine scientific findings and data on plastic waste recycling extrapolation to support an argument that the oceans are the world’s largest mismanaged landfill. As the sea’s landfill is not visible, the research applied various approaches to making invisible plastic waste present. Through Higher Education (HE) action-based workshops, research participants were invited to experience ocean plastics in ways designed to challenge perceptions. The HE action-based research co-created an aesthetically positive waste response and new experiential values that re-shaped the thinking of participants. Through a co-design approach with design students, research created meaningful connections with long-lasting plastic resources and re-imagined plastic pollution as oceanic species. This PhD thesis research comprises a series of three practice-based projects. First, HE-based waste symposium engagements facilitate landfill dialogue and promote plastic reuse. Second, HE participatory workshops enabled the visualisation of oceanic plastic pollution through making installations. Third, the research explored plastic pollution using craft expositions and participated in a sailing expedition. The PhD interventions promoted positive change through hands-on reuse tactics with plastic packaging, raising environmental and oceanic landfill awareness, and acknowledging that this may not lead to changes in stakeholders’ behaviour. Through the design agency-praxis, the research draws on recent works in speculative design formulating experiential design futures and design fictions. These PhD thesis contributions funnelled visual strategy insights from three practice-based interventions into two experiential scenarios – future-based climate fiction narratives. The first future scenario unpacked the responses of HE design workshop stakeholders and proposed informal global services and design-led packaging solutions. The second fiction scenario is a visionary post-anthropocentric future that visually re-imagined the planetary plastic pollution changes through intersections of research and praxis. This participatory research re-imagining with plastic waste and visualising the complexity of plastic pollution contributes further to knowledge relating to design research in three clustered domains. First, various HE learning tools for oceanic environmental awareness and waste reuse were developed. Second, the research designed an innovative methodology that expands praxis vocabulary and forms a new eco-centric compendium through workshop interventions and waste aesthetic approaches. Lastly, through practice-based participatory action and speculative agency, the research uniquely constructs a socio-material narrative with plastic things making new interdisciplinary connections and design relations to nature. The PhD promoted hands-on plastic reuse and new perceptions of plastic waste in HE design education, connecting to discard study, marine science and feminist thinking. A co-creation design approach raised transformative environmental awareness and promoted novel waste aesthetic and design language towards engaged relationships with plastic pollution.

Fig. 10- 87. Nothing Special Happened, 2019.Yorkshire Sculpture Park, where I hacked Katrina Palmer installation. Photo: Rui Leitão, 2019.

Opening the Bin 3

We are excited to share the call for papers for Opening the Bin 3 – Waste, economy, culture and society: ‘One World, one Bin?’.


Opening the Bin 3 invites contributions that explore the organizing and re-organizing of waste as representative of the ‘new normal’ (Li, 2020). As events in recent years increasingly show, the world is moving deeper into a permanent state of crisis, at sanitary, social, economic and environmental levels, which confronts us with the construction of a ‘new normal’, in which waste, in all of its diversity, plays a central, inescapable role. This is not only about the fact that inherently wasteful regimes of production, consumption and discard are behind the reproduction of these interconnected crises at a global scale (Nelson, 2020). It is also about the fact that resilience-procuring agents, in organizational and governmental spheres, cannot help but generate waste in their efforts to absorb strain, repair and prevent further damages (Adyel, 2020; Sarkodie and Owusu, 2020, Zapata Campos et al., 2020). Considering such a scenario, we seek to offer a space for open, creative, transdisciplinary academic exchange around waste that is at the same time unapologetically normative; wasting ought to be debated, for it must be curbed, if our earthly society-in-crisis is to have a chance to endure.

We welcome papers that open new spaces of reflection, understanding and critique, regardless of their theoretical sources of inspiration and methodological approaches. Innovation in writing and composing style are also welcome. In addition to scholars working in organization and management studies, we welcome contributions from – inter alia – anthropology, sociology, psychosocial studies, geography, philosophy, politics, art history, communication, film, gender and cultural studies, among other fields.

Visit our website (https://wp.lancs.ac.uk/otb3-2023or see attachment for full details of the call for papers.  

Keynote Speakers (https://wp.lancs.ac.uk/otb3-2023/keynote-speakers/ ).

  • Josh Lepawsky. Professor of Geography at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. He researches the geographies of discards, of maintenance, and of repair.
  • Trisia Farrelly. Associate Professor at Massey University, New Zealand and joined UNEP’s expert group in 2017 and currently sits on its Scientific Advisory Committee (Marine Litter and Microplastics) and the Break Free From Plastic Asia Pacific Advisory Committee and Co-Convenes its Policy Working Group.
  • Patrik Zapata. Professor in Public Administration at the School of Public Administration, University of Gothenburg, Sweden and isone of the many waste researchers who are not afraid to physically engage with waste. He can provide a unique insight into how ‘One World, and One Bin’ is organized.

Closing Date for Paper Submission: 16th January 2023

Papers should be submitted in electronic form (pdf) via email to OTB3@lancaster.ac.uk. Please include your contact information and affiliation.

PhD Student – please express your interest in taking part in a dedicated pre-conference waste workshop on the morning of 15th June.

Important dates:

§  16th January 2023 – Submission of abstract

§  6th February 2023 – Acceptance decision announced

§  14th April 2023 – Registration Closes

§  15th May 2023 – Sending full paper or work-in progress

§  15th-17th June 2023 – Conference takes place at Lancaster University


Sea PET making family workshop

When: Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 July 2022, 1 – 4pm

Where: Clore Learning Studio

Free and drop in at https://turnercontemporary.org/whats-on/sea-pet-making-workshop/

Turner Contemporary
at https://turnercontemporary.org/whats-on/sea-pet-making-workshop/

Join us for a weekend of re-using and re-imagining plastics in this underwater mobile-making workshop.

PET (polyethylene terephthalate) is a single-use plastic found everywhere, from fruit mesh bags to drink bottle tops. Unfortunately, these often end up in landfill or polluting our seas. We invite you to extend these plastics’ life by creating your own Sea PET mobiles. Think stinging jellyfish, luminous coral and deep ocean creatures!

The materials in this workshop are sterilised before use. For more information, please contact info@turnercontemporary.org or call 01843 233000

Suitable for children aged 5+.

About KraalD

KraalD is an activist design and research practice that raises awareness of plastic pollution through creative and collaborative workshops. This workshop will be led by Katarina Dimitrijevic, who recently completed a PhD in Design at the Goldsmiths University of London and is a lecturer at @TheMargateSchool.

#plasticpollution #family #workshop #craftivism https://kraald.org/

SeaPET repair space

Plastics are forever.

I found myself repairing my SeaPET 2019 jellyfish mobile’s installations.

They lived for two years in my garden. It is incredible to see how minimal decay or fragmentation’s happened! I report some colour discolorations to veggie mesh and some thorned edges due to the tree branches. That’s all damage, I can say. Watch this space @turnercontemporary #theopen forthcoming @kraaldworkshop/s announcement.

SeaPET repair 2021

Opening The Bin-2

 Opening The Bin-2  
 Waste Safari

The 3 Waste Fractions highlighted vivid conversations among researchers and practitioners around opportunities and challenges in Waste Theory, Circular Economy and Waste Labour. Participants and conveners look at the complexities of waste practices and research, such as how to make "visible the invisible waste", how plastic rubbish get demonized/moralized and the innovative waste economies. 

This was a wonderful and inspiring three day conference online and graced with an unexpected third-place win for KraalD video of the Waste Safari #OTB contest.

Watch all the #wastesafari Movies -http://ow.ly/LhMi50F6qJq

Watch KraalD waste safari - XMASS https://youtu.be/eoXtxkZkwYQ via 


Opening The Bin-2  
 Waste Safari

Being Self

Being Self: The act of gardening is close to my heart, dirty nails and gut that keeps me well.

Uncommon, I did a self-photoshoot in 2020, laying in #forgetmenot flowers in between the cherry trees, thinking that my son must have a memorable image of his mother (in case of my death). I know, quite dramatic transformed like #cindysherman wearing my mother’s’ crepe de chine revised dress, laying in bloom while eaten by the bugs. The spring is here, the ground fertilised, and fruit trees wash is spayed, and I feel that I would do a second COVID-19 #stayathome photoshoot – in so watch this space while digesting the new garden site theme and waiting for the tulips to bloom in #mygarden #beingself #ecopsychology

Being Self as a theme that was identified as having a sense of being and expressing oneself whilst gardening. The garden and many nonhuman others participants are viewed as a creative space collective.