Emeco's 111 Navy Chair

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January 23, 2011
Originally published in Rethink Recycling
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  The original Emeco Navy 1006 (pronounced "ten oh six") chair caught the attention of famous modernist architects including Frank Gehry and Norman Foster. Knock-offs can be found worldwide but the authenticity of the Emeco chair is easily verified by finding indentions on the backside of the chair. Today, the company still manufactures the same 77-step design with recycled Coca-Cola bottles. Photo by Armando Bellmas.

    The original Emeco Navy 1006 (pronounced "ten oh six") chair caught the attention of famous modernist architects including Frank Gehry and Norman Foster. Knock-offs can be found worldwide but the authenticity of the Emeco chair is easily verified by finding indentions on the backside of the chair. Today, the company still manufactures the same 77-step design with recycled Coca-Cola bottles. Photo by Armando Bellmas.

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  Eight to ten trailer truckloads of PET bales—each measuring 80 cubic feet and consisting of 20,000 bottles—arrive for processing every weekday.
    Eight to ten trailer truckloads of PET bales—each measuring 80 cubic feet and consisting of 20,000 bottles—arrive for processing every weekday.
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  A worker operates the float-sink tank. Heavier, nonrecyclable materials sink to the bottom, leaving on the water's surface only rPET, which then becomes white rinse flake.
    A worker operates the float-sink tank. Heavier, nonrecyclable materials sink to the bottom, leaving on the water's surface only rPET, which then becomes white rinse flake.
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  Bottles are sorted on a conveyor belt.
    Bottles are sorted on a conveyor belt.
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  A view of the heavy machinery inside the New United Resource Recovery Corporation recycling plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
    A view of the heavy machinery inside the New United Resource Recovery Corporation recycling plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
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  The rinse flake undergoes NURRC's patented UnPET process, in which the surface of the PET material is removed (depolymerized) and the remaining compound is roasted to remove any volatile organic content.
    The rinse flake undergoes NURRC's patented UnPET process, in which the surface of the PET material is removed (depolymerized) and the remaining compound is roasted to remove any volatile organic content.
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  The white rinse flake.
    The white rinse flake.
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  Each Navy chair begins life as 13 pounds of rPET plastic pellets, which are melted down and injected into the chair mold, a multiton device that functions like a gigantic waffle iron.
    Each Navy chair begins life as 13 pounds of rPET plastic pellets, which are melted down and injected into the chair mold, a multiton device that functions like a gigantic waffle iron.
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  After the rPET mixture is heated and transformed via injection molding into a chair, a robotic arm removes it from the specially designed mold.
    After the rPET mixture is heated and transformed via injection molding into a chair, a robotic arm removes it from the specially designed mold.
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  The 111 Navy chairs are exact replicas of the beloved aluminum originals, down to the faux weld points on the backside.
    The 111 Navy chairs are exact replicas of the beloved aluminum originals, down to the faux weld points on the backside.
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  A worker smoothes any imperfections before manually installing the H-brace.
    A worker smoothes any imperfections before manually installing the H-brace.
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  One of the final steps is to install the H-Brace and feet, both fabricated on another mold.
    One of the final steps is to install the H-Brace and feet, both fabricated on another mold.
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  Each chair is stamped on the underside to read, "Help your bottle become something extraordinary again."
    Each chair is stamped on the underside to read, "Help your bottle become something extraordinary again."
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