Having a long-term focus upon ‘Prometheanism’, the lack of forethought toward the implications of technology, I believe this project probes technological problems, responsibility and potential futures. For me, the rethinking of plastics evokes hope.
One of the first lessons a scientist learns is that he/she must take responsibility for his/her own work.
Hence, if we produce plastic it is our problem.
What happens to the plastic we produce? Where does our plastic waste go? It goes somewhere.
Plastics have become an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ problem.
Its a fact that we don’t know exactly where our plastic waste ends up.
We need to develop awareness of our plastics problem.
Of the 78m tons of plastic is produced annually;
14% collected for recycling
2% gets recycled
30% pollutes the environment
(Dirty business: what really happens to your recycling, Sky News Published 29/1/2018 accessed 25/3/2020)
In the past we have exported our waste problem to China. China was an important market for plastic recycling; importing 10 million tons of plastic annually. It was a more cost effective option than recycling locally. Cheap overseas disposal options resulted in a lack of local investment toward new technologies. However China is now refusing to take plastic waste.
Further, exporting waste is passing on the problem. Our waste is our problem.
If plastic is too expensive & too problematic to recycle, can we design biodegradable plastic with a zero waste goal?