In the spirit of World Cleanup Day, we are zooming in on plastics; the environmental issues we are facing today, but also, how plastics can continue to play a vital role in the future. A collaboration with Plastens Hus, took up this exact discussion, presented in a school project for the senior students at Perstorp Highschool.
No one can deny that we are facing a global waste problem and plastics are playing a central role in the debate. Plastics are often criticized for its negative impact on the environment, polluting our nature and oceans. Though plastics do offer challenges, when it comes to environment and waste, plastics also offer great opportunities, being extremely flexible and inexpensive. As the plastic production is expected to double over the next 20 years, we need to rethink how we produce, consume and discard plastics.* We need to rethink the future of plastics!
To engage in the debate, and at the same time create awareness around the opportunities of plastics, Perstorp and Plastens Hus (House of Plastics) offered senior students at Perstorp Highschool to work with the topic in a school project. With great interest and enthusiasm, 12 students signed up for the assignment, during spring 2019. The project kicked off with a thorough introduction to how plastics are produced, consumed and recycled and a visit to the Perstorp Development Lab, followed by a number of meetings to dig deeper into the subject.
As a result, the students wrote a detailed report, suggesting a process for recycling different types of plastics products and presented their results at Plastens Hus. An important takeaway, expressed by the students, was the acknowledgement that they themselves can make a difference and have the responsibility to handle plastics in a responsible manner, for example by recycling plastics to a higher degree. Their work and ideas will be displayed as part of the exhibition at Plastens Hus, to increase awareness around the importance of plastics and its deniable role in our society.
Plastics should never end up as waste but should re-enter the economy as a valuable resource (called The New Plastics Economy)**. A responsibility we need to commit to, as individuals and as a business. Sadly, plastics and other types of waste still end up in our nature. World Cleanup Day offers a great opportunity to get together and clean up litter – securing a cleaner future. Make everyday a cleanup day or join the movement here
Students from Perstorp Highschool presenting their results at Plastens Hus.
* The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics & catalysing action, The Ellen MacArthur Foundation: page 12
** The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics & catalysing action, The Ellen MacArthur Foundation: page 13