Plastic Projection
Experimenal Design// USE/ RE-USE// Plastic Waste

Something that has bothered me for a long time is that everything we buy is packaged in plastic, sometimes even a double layer of plastic. I especially notice it with meats. Me and my partner are not vegetarian, but we are aware of the carbon footprint that is increased by the massive consumption of meat products. This is reinforced by the packaging used for meat products. We usually buy in bulk and then freeze the meat that we want to keep. It's a shame because the packaging is thrown away immediately after purchase. Chicken, for example, is in a plastic tub with a layer of plastic foil over it. This foil is often impossible to remove and then tears into small pieces.
"Plastic consumption in the Netherlands continues to grow, especially due to packaged foods. We use a total of 26 billion pieces of plastic food packaging annually. This is evident from research by ING Economics Bureau. Of the more than 500 million kilos of plastic packaging material that comes on the market in the Netherlands every year, more than forty percent is intended for food and beverages. Consumption per Dutch person amounts to more than 1500 pieces of plastic per year, or four pieces per day. The growth in plastic consumption is mainly due to population growth; which causes an increase of about hundred million packs.

In addition, more and more products are packaged in plastic, especially in supermarkets. That was still the case in 2014, seventy percent of unprocessed vegetables, compared to 76 percent in 2018. In fruit, the percentage of plastic went from 56 to 60. Food giant Unilever recently announced it's plans to reduce the use of plastic packaging worldwide within five years by 50%."

[1] Art

"Meat, cheese, dairy, spreads, soft drinks, vegetables, fruit, potatoes, candy, cookies, chips, you name it. It's almost all packed in plastic bags, boxes and foil. The Dutch use 26 billion pieces of plastic food packaging every year. This amounts to more than 1500 pieces of plastic per Dutch person, the equivalent of four per day. This is evident from a research by ING Economics Department into plastic packaging."

[2] It is therefore clear that an extremely large amount of plastic packaging is produced that actually only last for a very short period of time before being thrown out. When it is put into a deepfreezer, it is taken out of it's packaging and into separate plastic packaging (Freezer bags). So the meat goes from a plastic packaging into a plastic packaging into the freezer. This happens because buying in bulk is economically more sustainable and it uses slightly less plastic since you buy one big package instead of multiple smaller ons. At home I often use the plastic tubs that you receive with a Chinese restaurant takeaway meal, these are very suitable for the freezer and this is how you prevent the secondary waste, but the fact remains that meat is in unnecessary plastic packaging while there are alternatives.

"British supermarket chain Tesco, together with its main supplier Hilton Food Group and packaging producer, Linpac has developed a fully recyclable plastic packaging for meat and poultry. This packaging is made of more than 95 percent food-safe recycled material, which is obtained from plastic (PET) water bottles from household waste."

Unlike many other designs on the market, the new packaging features a specially designed seal between the tub and the top film. This makes the need for a PE layer no longer necessary, which leads to a packaging of just 1 type of material. The packaging is therefore fully recyclable, according to Linpac."
[3] This is just 1 example of an ecological alternative.

Since I only had a week for a prototype, I had to act quickly. Initially I started experimenting by shining light on and through the plastic packaging. Because of the shapes in the plastic, interesting shadows soon emerged. I continued with this by cutting the plastic into pieces and seeing what the effect would be on the shadows.
After that I started building the prototype as quickly as possible as time was running out. I started making a cube of wood in which I could start milling shapes. The shapes are "random" cracks that I milled by hand and behind these I glued parts of the plastic packaging. In total I used about ten large plastic meat containers. Through the lamp in the center of the cube, the shapes of the plastic packaging are essentially projected onto the room, as a kind of reminder of the plastic waste we encounter every day. In addition, I chose red light to make this reminder seem just a little more intense. It has become a warning that looks pretty nice too.