Belfast Telegraph

Will's gotta feeling about rubbish

The Voice judge Will.i.am has launched his new project in the UK, inspired by the rubbish left behind by fans at one of his gigs.

The environmentally friendly Ekocycle range of products including clothes, accessories, a 3D printer and portable bicycles, are made out of recycled materials including plastic bottles and caps, and aluminium cans.

The 39-year-old musician, also the frontman of hip-hop group Black Eyed Peas, got the idea after a gig in South America in 2009.

He said: "I saw the aftermath of waste left behind by our fans.

"It was that moment that I recognised my role in the creation of global waste. I realised that the next generation was losing its eco-momentum.

"The dream was to not waste waste. There are recycling bins everywhere but people still don't recycle... because people don't see plastics as a commodity."

Born William Adams, Will - who has enjoyed chart success with Black Eyed Peas with hits like I Gotta Feeling, Where Is The Love and Boom Boom Pow - teamed up with Coca-Cola for the range which is available at Harrods in London.

He said: "My favourite item has to be a 3D printer. It's a blank canvas for creators... and a factory for creative folks who see it as a tool.

"Ekocycle has been an ongoing effort to make it a reality since 2009, so we are six years in. I'm proud that it's not only out there, but it's here at Harrods," he continued. "It's just amazing, the partners that we have. I just can't believe this is reality. I'm still in disbelief we are here at Harrods."

The star admitted he spent years perfecting his pitch to Coca-Cola.

"I have the dream in my head, and the vision and the purpose and I wanted to inspire Coca-Cola because it's the biggest company in the world," he said.

"I had to take my time with my deck and my presentation and I wanted to be as creative with that as I am with making an album. (I thought) 'If I put the same amount of attention to the deck as I do with my music, I can inspire Coca-Cola'. I had to put the 'what' with the 'how' and 'why'. The 'how' - that's the business plan - took the longest. It took about two years to get that right."

Will now hopes that Ekocycle will inspire people to live more sustainable lifestyles.

"I recycle and I practise what I preach by trying my hardest to bring sustainable goods to the market, and trying my hardest to make it the norm," he added.

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