heliograf’s soy fish lamp made of recycled ocean-bound plastic is now available at designboom shop

heliograf unveils eco-friendly iteration of sushi-soy lamps

heliograph’s playful sushi soy lamps have been re-imagined in a new edition made with recycled ocean-bound plastic. the polypropylene material is cleaned up on shorelines and waterways in regions that contribute up to 80% of ocean plastic pollution. the plastic is sorted, cleaned, and upcycled into the studio’s cute lamps, and paired with a red cap that features a dimmable 3000K LED light source. the idea is to stop plastic pollution at the ‘sauce’, by turning plastic litter into a functional and charming luminary that prevents ocean pollution and inspires consumers to stop using single-use plastic.

the recycled light soy lamps are available as portable lamps and ceiling pendants, and can be purchased in the designboom readers shop, here.

the new lamp version is made with recycled plastic cleaned up from shorelines and waterways

all images courtesy of heliograph


the disposable little soy fish handed to you alongside a tasty sushi meal are very cute, but an environmental disaster nonetheless. they are wasteful, being used just once, but also easily washed into the sea where they are deadly to marine life – ironic given their shape. jeffrey simpson and angus ware of heliograf (find more here) thought they were symbolic of an outdated economic model that doesn’t consider waste in the design process.

both designers live on the coast near sydney and are continually frustrated by the packets littering nearby beaches. they created the scaled-up lamp to highlight the big problem with small single-use plastics, and show that – as well as encouraging people to ‘skip the fish’ to cut down on waste – good design and new materials are needed to solve the plastic crisis. after the sold-out release of a handblown glass version in 2020, the designers decided the lamp should have a direct impact at the source of the problem, so they began searching for a recycled material up to the challenge.

heliograf's soy fish lamp is re made in recycled ocean bound plastic 2
sushi soy fish packets inspired the design. the packets are wasteful and harmful to marine life.

‘when we first designed light so we experimented with recycled plastic and it was poor quality and questionable origin. now, in just a few years small studios like ours have access to certified recycled ocean-bound plastics from reputable programs. it’s exciting that so much progress has been made already,‘says angus ware.

the recycled material has other benefits too, like lower energy use in production, and increased durability allowing for slimmer packaging. at launch, the new lamps are made with 75% recycled ocean-bound polypropylene, with a plan to use 100% across all components and new products as they get more familiar with the material. the lamps are also packed in plastic-free packaging, including biodegradable inserts made from waste sugarcane, and designed for repair and eventual recycling inspired by a circular economy model.

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the shade is blown from at least 75% recycled ocean-bound plastic


the ocean-bound plastic used to make light soy is collected in coastal regions of south east asia that are a major source of ocean plastic pollution. around 80% of all plastic in the oceans comes from land-based sources, where it is carried by rivers and coastlines to the ocean. this overwhelmingly happens in just a few countries where economic inequality means plastic waste often goes unmanaged. by funding collection and management of plastic waste by the community in those regions, and proving the material collected is a valuable resource for designers, heliograf hopes to make a difference where it’s needed most. the studio works with certified collectors and recyclers to authenticate the source of the plastic and make sure it is having a positive social impact.

heliografs soy fish lamp is re made in recycled ocean bound plastic 4
the designers hope the project will inspire people to stop using single-use plastic items

heliografs soy fish lamp is re made in recycled ocean bound plastic 5
a ceiling pendant light is also available

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