Our plastic problem: One designer’s small steps towards saving the planet

I want to experiment with design aspects I believe are important to the future - some that aren’t necessarily top priority during typical student projects. Sustainable design, 3D printing, and plastics manufacturing are a few items I want to gain understanding of.

Plastic itself isn’t the main issue, it’s how people interact with it. From water bottles to relationships, in today’s world everything is disposable and replaceable. Consumerism mentality is toxic in terms of the environment and our lives.

 
 

1 week : 57 pieces

Over one week I gathered all single-use plastic I came in contact with. It opened my eyes to the depth of the problem.

 
 

So I started to bake

I took the collection and experimented with shredding then melting the #2 plastic at home. My goal was to create a useful product out of it, but I ended up heading down a different route as I did more research into bioplastics.

 
 

Get the frying pan out

I dove into research more about alternatives to plastic. I found some youtube videos that inspired me to create a batch of my own bioplastics. Since I could create these from scratch I attempted to pour the liquid into a 3d printed mold…

 

Model for mold

Cooled bioplastics

 

Successful failures…

Unfortunately I never yielded my full part but the experiments helped me gain understanding of the manufacturing process and learning the benefits of bioplastics.