Lloyd Richards Design

Jun 23, 2020

Creating examples for the Life of Plastic project to be used in the initial tutorial


The Life of Plastic project was a final internship project when I first worked for IxT. The goal of the project was to create a visualization that would help people understand the life cycle of plastic bottles and the impact of recycling.

Life of Plastic Tutorial

Plastic, like most consumable packaging, has for a long time been a through-put design. Resources would be used to make bottles, which would be consumed and eventually thrown away. In this model, resources move in one direction, from production to consumption.

Thankfully, in the 21st century, we have recycling which promises to loop the resources back into the production cycle and divert them from becoming waste. In an ideal system, resources would never reach landfills and instead be caught in a regenerative cycle.

Unfortunately, our current recycling system is just not that efficent and we are left with some material being recycled back, while some is still diverted to landfills. While every recycling system is different, in general PET plastic bottles could be reused up to 7 times. This is roughly 85% efficent.