I stumbled across this article talking about a sea of plastic waste in the Pacific Ocean nearly twice as big as the continental US. Plastic products, packaging, and trash that have been dumped into the sea are gathering in a "trash vortex" nearly 10 meters deep, and is responsible for killing "more than a million seabirds every year, as well as more than 100,000 marine mammals. Syringes, cigarette lighters and toothbrushes have been found inside the stomachs of dead seabirds, which mistake them for food."
The plastic waste poses a threat to humans as well. Every year, millions of plastic pellets (the raw material used to create plastic products) are lost at sea. These pellets act as a chemical sponge, absorbing man-made chemicals such as hydrocarbons and the pesticide DDT, which are then eaten by marine life, that could possibly wind up on your dinner plate. One of our current clients, Blynk Organic, is blending environmental responsibility into their business plan. Their restaurant is buying food from local organic farms to reduce pollution from pesticides and other farm toxins, as well as exhaust pollution from delivery trucks and oil pollution from cargo ships. They are also using recycled and recyclable materials for their product packaging, and printing with water based inks.
Our client Asana Activewear is also using 100% recycled paper for their store promotions.
As designers we have a responsibility to design in a way that will give the most amount of visual impact with the least amount of environmental impact. Check out this article and consider alternative materials for your next project.