In The Media

Follow our story as it unfolds

The Post: Five exciting NZ designers to know right now

February 2024
Next time you chuck out a plastic bottle, think of what it could become with the design nous of Rui Peng and Critical. Everyday waste turns into durable and stylish plastic panels used in all sorts of construction."

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Radio NZ: From plastic to science desks, Critical branching out

February 2024
Auckland's Manurewa High School is rolling out fresh desks in their new science block. They are made from completely recycled plastics, and are designed go the distance.

It's the work of a Māori-owned company turning plastic waste into long-lasting materials.

Rui Peng, co-founder and CEO of Critical. Kia ora Rui, speaks to Jesse.

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The Spinoff's Business is Boring Podcast: Critical.'s solution to plastic-packed landfills

November 2023
We send around 330,000 tonnes of used plastics to landfill every year. Critical are out to change this. They make table and bench tops, partitions and other feature materials for building from plastic waste. Upcycling rubbish into beautiful, low carbon and endlessly recyclable materials. Co-founder and CEO Rui Peng joins Simon Pound to talk the company's journey, making treasure from trash, and overcoming everything the world can throw at them.

Listen on Spotify

Radio NZ: Recycled materials used for chef-grade chopping boards

October 2023
A collaboration between a sustainable restaurant and a plastics re-cycler is shining a light on the impact of bottom trawling and commercial fishing on our marine ecosystem.

Listen to the interview How One School is turning plastic waste into desks.

June 2023
Manurewa High School has a plan to refurbish old desk frames using new tops, made with 100% recycled plastic panels from local startup Critical. When the school no longer needs the desktops, they can be bought back by Critical.

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May 2023
Plastic recycler Critical to expand micro factories globally. Critical CEO and co-founder Rui Peng speaks with Fiona Rotherham.

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Podcast: This Climate Business

April 2023
Conventional plastics recycling is fussy: it can handle only four of the 24 types of plastic, and even those have to be clean. Here’s the story of Auckland-based social enterprise Critical, which uses a proprietary technology to turn a wide range of waste plastics, including more contaminated ones, into construction boards and countertops.

The Project

October 2022
The Change Maker transforming our plastic waste into a unique building material.

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May 2022
Circular economy start-up overcomes destructive tornado, Rui Peng.

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Podcast: Shape The System

April 2022
In episode 41 we talk to Rui Peng about plastic and its role in rethinking the materials used in all forms of commercial enterprise from retail fit-outs to moving to furniture.

April 2022
The social enterprise turning plastic waste into something beautiful.

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Sustainable Business Network

April 2022
Recycled plastic bags feature in new store (Critical.)

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NZ Herald

February 2022
Recycling startup growing, despite tornado and pandemic.

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August 2021
A social enterprise that hopes to save the world, one plastic milk bottle at a time.

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The Warehouse Group

October 2019
The making of Torpedo7's reusable bag fixtures

Tedx Talks

July 2018
The Unlikely Neighbourhoods of Innovation | Andy Crowe & Rui Peng | TEDxAuckland

The Big Idea

November 2017
Rui Peng: The challenges of the social entrepreneur.

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