Lionel Taito-Matamua

Lionel began to explore emerging technologies to tackle the problem, in particular the use of 3D printing technology to create tools and meaningful objects of value from recycled plastic. This could be one way to help address the growing amount of plastic waste filling up landfills and waterways in Samoa, and other marginalised communities.

Lionel is a New Zealand born Samoan, and a young father with a passion for design and technology. After completing his Masters from Vic Uni in Wellington, he launched Creative Pathways, an outreach programme to help make 3D technology more accessible to young Maori and Pasifika students. 

Key steps in the journey

Lionel was always fascinated by art and design at High School, and decided to take it a step further and study design at Victoria University.

When he attended his grandmother's funeral in Samoa he was shocked to see the sheer volume of plastic waste in the country – seeing all of the plastic bottles, cups, plates, and other rubbish lying on the side of the roads – he wanted to do something. Lionel devoted his Masters to looking at how 3D printing could up-cycle this plastic waste to create meaningful objects of value.
Lionel is now working to expand his small-scale prototype.

As well as is passion for tackling the plastic waste issue, Lionel has started an outreach programme called Creative Pathways, helping young people in schools engage with 3D technologies.