An estimated 8 million tonnes of plastic enters our oceans every year, where it doesn’t degrade – it just breaks into smaller pieces, gets eaten by all marine life, causes millions of deaths and even enters our food chain. Multi-disciplinary circular economy design studio Claire Potter Design actively research marine plastics, and what can be created from this ‘waste’ material... In 2017, Claire Potter Design worked with 365 plastic sports drinks bottles that were recovered whilst leading a beach clean as volunteer Regional Reps for Surfers Against Sewage in Brighton. Undergoing 7 different separation and re-processing steps to make the materials pure, the bottles were then transformed into a set of 30 LED lit jellyfish lights called ‘The Smack’ – the collective term for jellyfish. In the UK we use a staggering 38.5 million single-use plastic bottles every day. Only just over half of these are recycled, and a shocking 16 million plastic bottles in the UK are landfilled or incinerated daily, unless they escape the waste stream, polluting our streets, our countryside, our beaches and our oceans.
We need to examine our relationship with plastic – and we need to create value from our plastic waste.