Innovation

PlasticFree platform launches to help design out plastic waste

PlasticFree, a platform aiming to help designers and business leaders eradicate one trillion pieces of plastic waste from the global economy by 2025, launches today (11 January).

PlasticFree websitePowered by A Plastic Planet, PlasticFree is expected to “become the trusted, global, authoritative resource to help the creative industry design out plastic waste at source and accelerate towards a better future.”

“We have one simple goal—make the designer the smartest, most confident person in the room to push back against that inevitable brief that says just use a bioplastic or a recycled polymer, so we get a green tick. Above all, our focus is on system change not just better materials”, Sian Sutherland, co-founder of A Plastic Planet, said.

Becoming plastic free 

The online design tool has been created to influence 160 million global creatives to rethink packaging, textiles and products – providing in-depth reports on over 100 plastic-free alternatives, as well as insights into system changes like solid formulations and permanent reusable packaging. In turn, it could combat single-use systems.

Featured online are 125 case studies from five continents, highlighting where alternative materials have been used to improve existing products and systems.

Editorial content from experts and daily updates of new content could designers knowledge shift the creative process and design waste out of their products.

This knowledge will be provided by the platforms Advisory Council which is joined by scientists such as medical expert Professor Hugh Montgomery OBE of University College London and green chemistry pioneer Professor Terry Collins of Carnegie Mellon University. 

Designers such as Thomas Heatherwick, Sir David Chipperfield, Tom Dixon, Shaway Yeh and Skylar Tibbits of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will also hold positions on the council.

The platform also highlights examples where materials purporting to be plastic-free have been brought to market but don’t meet the EU’s strict ‘plastic-free’ definition of a polymer that has been chemically altered. 

Over 40 of the world’s ‘pre-eminent’ designers, scientists, and business leaders have united in their support of the materials and systems solutions platform.
Sian Sutherland commented: “Our default dependence on incredible but toxic and indestructible plastic has to end. Designers want to be part of the solution but there is a minefield of misinformation out there. If we can ignite and empower creatives by giving them trusted, relevant data and inspiring case studies, we believe we can change everything much faster.” 

Jos Harrison, Global Head of Brand Experience and Design, Reckitt Benckiser Group, added: “There are few things more exciting to a designer than finding the combination of like-minded passion and depth of expertise. 

Empowering designers

“PlasticFree combines these attributes in a platform that will empower teams of designers inside and outside our organisation – and across the industry; this can only be a good thing – supercharging the unique capacity of designers to imagine and improve the future.”

Laura Stein, CCO of Bruce Mau Design, also said: “As designers, we need to understand the full life-cycle of what we make. 

“Instead of cobbling together continually emerging technologies and ideas, using PlasticFree makes it easy—and inspiring— to better our practices by bringing it all together in one trustworthy place. PlasticFree fills an important void to accelerate positive action against our biggest human challenges.”