Carolina senior Ana Soule and her team at the Phoenyx Project are giving new life to vinyl billboards that would otherwise end up in the dump.

With a dad who works in outdoor advertising, Ana Soule has spent a lot of time around vinyl billboards. She has also seen firsthand how much of the material is produced without a sustainable method to repurpose it later.

To find an eco-friendly way to re-use the vinyl instead of sending it to the dump, the Carolina senior launched the Phoenyx Project with help from juniors Julia Thompson and Alessandro Uribe-Rheinbolt.

The young company creates durable and fashionable utility bags from recycled billboard material, harnessing the positive properties of billboard vinyl such as the material’s strength and flexibility to develop products that are dependable, lightweight and waterproof.

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Originally published April 4, 2019.