SWEAT SHOPS, LANDFILL, BIGGER HOMES AND BETTER LIVES
Since 2012, the UK has sent over 1.6 million tonnes of plastic waste to China to be recycled. However, as of 2017 the Chinese government decided to cut its ties with the UK and ban this waste fuelled partnership. Of course, the repercussions of this will be colossal, with no robust plan set out in the UK, the plastic will most likely be either incinerated, or thrown into landfill.
This news prompted me to consider ways that a new, viable solution could be created. After visiting plastic recycling centres around the south of England and forming a rounded knowledge of the current system in place, I began to develop concepts that could solve this very current issue.
Through a number of iterations, the eventual outcome of this project was a small, portable plastic shredder that would be distributed as a government initiative. It would expect each household to place their used plastic packaging into the shredder, turning the waste from a vacuum formed shell, into small shreds. The plastic could then be placed into bags and put out to be collected as it currently is. The point of this is to remove one of the major steps of the recycling process done at recycling plants. By doing this, efficiency can be increased dramatically and thus per hour, the recycling process could increase twofold.
This project is a speculative piece that offers the groundworks for a solution to an increasingly worrying issue, one that forces us all to have more consideration for the materials we use in our everyday lives.