Discouraging the use of single-use plastics through graphic design strategies
Single-use plastics, or disposable plastics, have become entrenched in the daily lives of college students across the country. Whether it is a plastic bag from grocery shopping, a stirrer from a morning coffee, a clamshell container for that convenient on-the-go lunch, or even a simple straw — these easily overlooked and thrown away items begin to add up. Despite advertisements for more sustainable products like metal straws, re-usable shopping bags, and ceramic coffee containers, the convenient plastic options are still being used. Despite news articles regularly showing the damage caused by plastic pollution (images of floating garbage or injured sea turtles most likely come to mind), apathy towards environmental issues continues to rise.
The goal of this project is to identify an on-going, complicated issue such as the problem of single-use plastic usage, to investigate the issue by reviewing literature on the topic, and then to respond to the issue through design experiments. These experiments are intended to engage a potential audience with the issue of plastics in new ways that may encourage behavioral changes and at the very least encourage personal habits to be questioned. Methodology from packaging design, product design, interaction design, and video game design are used to present a message against the usage of single-use plastics.