Plastikophobia is a new immersive art installation in Singapore made from 18,000 single-use plastic cups collected from local food markets to raise public awareness of plastic pollution. Although beautiful to look at, this art piece is in no way an endorsement to use more plastic.
The art project started when Canadian photographer Benjamin Von Wong and Joshua Goh at the National University of Singapore teamed up with social impact strategist Laura Francois to create an exhibition for the Sustainable Singapore Gallery. Knowing that Singapore recycled less than 6% of its plastic waste, the team set out to draw attention to plastic pollution by making an art installation from discarded plastic cups. In a short time, they managed to collect thousands of single-use cups from local merchants and recruited hundreds of volunteers to bring the project to life. The end result is surreal and lovely, and hopefully disturbing.
In Singapore, plastic waste is reaching crisis proportions. According to the Singapore Straits Time, plastic waste has increased sevenfold since the 1970s. The average Singaporean uses and discards about 13 plastic bags a day. The statistics are equally daunting in other parts of the world. Studies show that 91% of plastic worldwide does not get recycled. The toxic chemicals that leach out of plastic have had an alarming impact on the environment and all of its inhabitants.
Like Singapore, other parts of the world are awakening to the harmful effect of plastic. Just last week the EU Parliament banned single-use plastics by 2021. It’s not just the proliferation of unsightly litter; it’s the toxins that are slowly killing us. A solution must start with product and packaging designers who have made plastic their favorite “go to” material.
The Plastikophobia exhibit is showing at the Sustainable Singapore Gallery until April 18th.
Consider this: Consumers in China went through 57 billion pairs of disposable wooden chopsticks in 2009 alone, which equates to more than 3.8 million trees. For a nation that ranks 139th worldwide in forest land per capita, that means that China’s forests may be wiped out in 20 years if consumption continues at that rate.
Last winter Greenpeace East Asia and Ogilvy Beijing teamed with artist Yinhai Xu and students from 20 Chinese universities to stage a public awareness campaign. Together, they gathered some 80,000 pairs of used chopsticks from Beijing restaurants to assemble a “Disposable Forest” in a popular Beijing shopping center. The display urged people to carry around their own pair of chopsticks when eating out and asked them to sign a pledge to stop using disposable chopsticks. The 80,000 pairs of chopsticks that were transformed into four full-sized trees are a mere sliver of how many disposable chopsticks are used worldwide. Even though wood is a renewable resource is it really worth it to cut down a tree to make an eating utensil that is used once and thrown away?
This animated video on climate change comes from the WWF Brazil. It’s part of a trilogy titled “Pense de Novo,” or “Think Again.” Without voiceover or text, the 30-second video shows how humans have managed to pollute the planet. As we commemorate Earth Day on Friday, it is something to think about…again.
From the ever-inventive designer Stefan Sagmeister comes this TV commercial for Standard Chartered Bank. Sagmeister’s approach to typography continues to shock and delight. Who can forget his 1999 poster for an AIGA lecture that displayed the words actually carved into his skin? Sagmeister has also turned typography into an environmental art form by constructing words in — and out of — nature. You can’t help but read and reflect on the message.
The advertising commercial for Standard Chartered Bank aptly represents the multinational scope of the company’s business, which was formed in 1969 through a merger of the Standard Bank of British South Africa, founded in 1863, and the Chartered Bank of Australia, India and China, founded in 1853. International and exotic, steeped in cultural traditions and totally modern, the TV spot makes the bank’s philosophy feel sustainably organic and mindful of the global markets it serves.
Want to set an elegant table for the holidays? Don’t just put any old bottled water out for guests. Make it French. Make it designer. Make it from the Evian Paul Smith Limited Edition collection. In a tradition started in 2008 with a limited edition bottle designed by Christian Lacroix, followed in 2009 with Jean Paul Gaultier, Evian has just released the Paul Smith Limited Edition 2010 bottle.
The renowned British fashion icon designed the bottle in vibrant colors with a festive theme, featuring his signature stripes and five different multi-colored caps to collect. These days selling bottled water has become harder with countless brands vying for market share and sustainability proponents urging people to drink water filtered from the tap, even adding the bubbly themselves. With its designer bottles, Evian, owned by Danone Waters of America, isn’t touting how its product tastes, but how its bottles look. At $13.95 (USD) for a single 750ml bottle and $118 (USD) for a 12-bottle case, what consumers are buying is imaginative packaging that happens to have water inside.