About Circular Economy and Sustainable Development

According to the research, I found that natural resources have been overexploitation like the fish has been overfishing. Overfishing can cause a negative impact on the local environment as an example in New Zealand, and the same as the natural resources. However, the global ecosystem is much bigger than the local marine ecosystem, so that the adverse reactions show up slowly.

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We continue to record waste diary in the last two weeks and can see some issues in our daily life. Most of the waste is made from paper, plastics and organic. In these three types of materials, the plastics are the most. Actually people know what is made of plastic but they don’t know much details about plastic. It is a kind of material made of macromolecules which mixed with many other toxic materials such as filler, plasticizer, stabilizer, and lubricant. It is difficult to degrade naturally but it has continued to be produced by human.

The reason that manufactories continue to produced plastic is that it's cheap and can easily satisfy customers in many ways. As an industrial design student, I should be honest to admit that plastic is the most useful material in the world. There are many processing technics to create shapes as customers want like compression molding or injection molding. Its chemical and physical structure is relatively stable. Its heat resistant and waterproof performance are more preferable than metals and wood, particularly in packaging. Plastic becomes manufacturers' favourite also because it's low price but they didn't notice that plastic is gently killing the planet. During the last two weeks' research, we should realize that the ocean is filling by plastic soon or later, and seabirds or inland animals also can eat some plastic products by mistake and lost their life. Therefore, raise public awareness to let plastic disappear or find some other materials to replace plastic is an emergency situation.

Dr. Yang and Zhao published some related articles in magazine Environment Science and Technology in 2015. They did a lot of experiments to prove that Tenebrio Molitor larva can eat polystyrene which is the most difficult to biodegradable plastic in the world. It can completely degrade and mineralize it into carbon dioxide or assimilate into worm body fat. So that provides a new idea to wipe out the plastic. The details in the PDF attached below. According to this article, I’m trying to think about the possibility to design the product for each household which can degradable by themselves. When they find out the degradation rate is not enough to satisfy them to make plastic waste, they might reduce the waste.

Plastic waste also can be recycled materials but the processes are complicated (which include manual classification and screening, broken, granulated, modified, become transparent or coloured plastic granules, etc.) and some countries are making the RDF generate electricity. These are based on people who have been produced a lot of plastic. Actually, this is a kind of secondary raw material to let the designer do some eco-design but I’m still thinking that whatever we change materials or reduce the waste, the most important thing is to raise public awareness and this can control the situation soon, like QMS in New Zealand.

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