This beautiful recycled trash can is a fitting descendant of the Vipp Pedal Bin

A trash can that uses a pedal to open its lid might be painfully ordinary today, but back in 1939, it was a mind-blowing radical design. Imagine not having to get your hands dirty to open a bin but still having a cover to keep the area sanitized. Vipp’s Pedal Bin became the prototype for many such pedal-equipped cans since then, but the company has managed to stick true to the original’s iconic appearance. Almost 84 years later, Vipp is giving that classic a bit of an upgrade, not by changing its design but by changing what it’s made of. After all, what better way to inspire a recycling mindset than with a rubbish bin that’s literally rubbish.

Designer: Vipp

It’s definitely too easy to take trash bins for granted. Because of their association with trash, they are often placed out of sight or at least in corners that don’t get too much attention. Even ones in offices that contain nothing but paper or a few bits and pieces of plastic are often shoved under desks. In stark contrast, the Vipp Pedal Bin has always had a peculiar beauty to its simple form, and it develops an even more distinctive character in its new Rubbish Bin incarnation.

At first glance, the new bin is exactly like the old one, sporting the same cylindrical shape above a wider circular base, topped by a stainless steel lid that deftly opens up when you push down on the pedal. Upon closer inspection, however, you will notice that the typical powder coating of Vipp’s regular bins gives way to something that looks rough and raw, almost like made from unpolished cement. In a way, it does hint at the rubbish bin’s unusual constitution, which is actually made from Vipp’s own trash.

That material combines plastic from the company’s sofa production and wood fiber waste from its table manufacturing, forming a kind of paste that is pressed into a mold. The assembled bin is left unpainted, although it is treated with a protective coating, allowing its natural imperfections to become its biggest asset. To complete its sustainability message, the rubbish bin is packaged in recyclable FSC cardboard and is given a ten-year warranty to make sure it doesn’t end up getting thrown away any time soon.

The end result is a trash can that is unconventionally beautiful inside and out, at least not considering the actual trash you will put inside. Although it doesn’t drastically transform the bin-making industry, it does mean that each of these Rubbish Bins doesn’t contribute to the harmful effects of the typical manufacturing process. It creatively sends a message that recycled products don’t have to look like trash, pun intended, while perhaps giving you pause for thought about the trash that you’ll be throwing away.