The New Plastics Economy

If the amount of plastic one sees by just going for a walk along the beach or park are to go by, our current plastic system is does not work. The New Plastics Economy is an initiative that is building momentum towards a plastics system that will. They are working towards applying the principal of a circular economy, and bringing together key stakeholders to rethink and redesign the future of plastics, starting with plastic packaging.

Fig 1. NPEC. The New Plastics Economy (2016). video.

Fig 2 . Ellen MacArthur Foundation. "Rethinking the future of plastics"  The New Plastic Economy . Accessed August 18 2017. https://newplasticseconomy.org/report-2016

Fig 2. Ellen MacArthur Foundation. "Rethinking the future of plastics" The New Plastic Economy. Accessed August 18 2017. https://newplasticseconomy.org/report-2016

As seen in the video (see Fig 1.) The New Plastics Economy do not discount the many benefits and innovations plastic provides, they alternatively highlight how the current "take, make, dispose" model fails and negatively impacts our environment . The linear model (see Fig 2.) is an extreme mishandling of this highly useful material. Which is further explained through alarming facts (see Fig 1. and Fig 3.), globally, only 14% of plastics are collected for recycling and even more disturbing 1/3 of plastic packaging escapes collection and ends up in our environment . 

Fig 3 . Ellen MacArthur Foundation. "Rethinking the future of plastics"  The New Plastic Economy . Accessed August 18 2017. https://newplasticseconomy.org/report-2016

Fig 3. Ellen MacArthur Foundation. "Rethinking the future of plastics" The New Plastic Economy. Accessed August 18 2017. https://newplasticseconomy.org/report-2016

Fig 4 . Ellen MacArthur Foundation. "Rethinking the future of plastics"  The New Plastic Economy . Accessed August 18 2017. https://newplasticseconomy.org/report-2016

Fig 4. Ellen MacArthur Foundation. "Rethinking the future of plastics" The New Plastic Economy. Accessed August 18 2017. https://newplasticseconomy.org/report-2016

The plastic economy as it stands, is utterly complex and one entity cannot change the system alone. This makes collaboration, the key to The New Plastics Economy's circular approach (see Fig 4.). A collaborative approach is something that will also allow me to make a bigger impact with my resolved design. I would like to utilize waste plastics in my product either through collection from the environment or redirected from landfill, and will need the support of my local community either way.