FNR Science Image Competition: Resourceful recycling


The FNR Science Image Competition aims to show the beauty of research and science outreach in Luxembourg. The photo ‘Resourceful’ received ‘distinction’ in the Science Outreach Activities category in the 2022 edition. Learn more about this photograph and the science behind it.

"Resourceful recycling" by Luxembourg Science Center

Plastic here, there, everywhere. With the right methods, at least some of our packaging waste can be transformed into colourful, useful objects. Polypropylene – as seen in the image – is a polymer well suited to be recycled. It melts easily without destroying the integrity of the molecules and then solidifies into a stress-resistant material.

Polypropylene (PP) is one of the most commonly used thermoplastics in the world. It is used in a range of plastic packaging, plastic parts for machinery and equipment and even fibres and textiles. From cleaning bottles, petri dishes, to ropes and camping equipment. It is a rigid, semi-crystalline thermoplastic that was first polymerised in 1951.

By shredding, melting and injection moulding, it becomes possible to make new objects and reuse this plastic in a creative way. Just by picking a few different coloured materials, the colours melt together and flow into unique beautiful patterns.

This photo was taken by the Luxembourg Science Center team.


An international jury selected the winning photographs, images and videos, based on their aesthetic quality and their aptitude to inspire and fascinate, to convey or to illustrate knowledge, to narrate a story, to engage the public to explore a new universe.

The jury appreciated the simple but efficient way of colourfully depicting a process that – at least in principle – is familiar to every audience: recycling. Turning old into new and thinking about how we can use our resources wisely are absolutely relevant and highly topical issues!

About the FNR Science Image Competition – discover the exhibition!

The exhibition can also be discovered until the end of 2022 in Luxembourg City/Limpertsberg, in front of LGL

The FNR Science Image Competition ran for the first time in 2020, on the occasion of the FNR’s 20th birthday. Now in its third edition, the 2022 awarded and ‘distinction’ images – along with the ‘Prix du Public’ awarded in collaboration with media partner RTL, can be discovered at an exhibition at the Luxembourg Science Center from 29 June until the end of September 2022. From Mid-September 2022 you can also discover the exhibition in front of Lycée de Garçons in Luxembourg-Limpertsberg (Place Auguste Laurent) – until the end of the year.

Categories in the FNR Science Image Competition

1) Object of study: From the microcosm to the macrocosm, images of the research object captured by scientists using a camera or generated by a computer.

2) Scientists in action: Photographs of research in practice, presented by and featuring those conducting it.

3) Places and tools: Photographs of the surroundings in which scientists take measurements, generate data, share their passion, make discoveries and of the instruments they use while doing so.

4) Science outreach activities: Photographs of an activity where researcher and science communicators dialogue with the school children, students or the wider public or of interactive projects for school children, students and the wider public, giving them an overview of science and research and/or scientists’ research methods.


More about the Luxembourg Science Center

Knowledge bites: the science of food ingredients, for everyone

Discover the stories behind more images from the 2022 FNR Science Image Competition

FNR Science Image Competition: The bubbly oil

FNR Science Image Competition: Winner Prix du Public

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FNR Science Image Competition: Fantastic beasts

FNR Science Image Competition: Microcarriers

FNR Science Image Competition: Bone track

FNR Science Image Competition: Dead tree

FNR Science Image Competition: This is plasma

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