This article is part of Precious Plastic, a One Army project tackling the plastic waste problem. You can learn morehere
For version 3 we created a series of artifacts. Five objects crafted with a lot of effort and craftsmanship. Pushing the limits of plastic recycling. They tell the story about how we value plastic. We call them our manifesto
Dawn of cheap
As the story goes plastic was originally invented to find a replacement for an expensive material, ivory. Given its great properties, it was widely used to make various products from billiard balls to jewelry and piano keys. But ivory was scarce. To meet the increasing demand for ivory, a cheaper more efficient material had to be invented. Plastic was born.
A scarce resource
Plastic is made from oil, a fossil fuel that took thousands of years to be created. Yet, we trash plastic in a matter of minutes. Once we burn it, is gone. Forever. Oil is running out and plastic with it. It is time to treat this scarce material as a valuable, scarce, and finite resource.
Plastic is one of the longest-lasting materials on the planet. It does not decompose and will stick around for hundreds of years. Yet we use it to make the cheapest, most disposable products. Plastic is made to last forever but designed to be used for minutes. An incredible waste of potentials. We consider plastic a valuable material- and we’re not the only ones.
We try to push the boundaries of plastic, how it is produced, reproduced, viewed, and consumed by society. We like working with plastic in a more human way- on a smaller scale with room for details and love. Like a craftsman. This brings a whole new world of textures, colors, and freedom of expression. It’s time to rediscover plastic and start using it at its full potential.
Time & effort
Plastic isn’t cheap by nature- it’s how we, as humans, deal with it. Products are mass-produced in huge quantities to keep prices low with very little care placed on each individual plastic object. That same object could quickly gain value and preciousness by dedicating some extra time and effort to it.