Content type: Graphic Design/Mapping/Publication
Credit: Berglind Brá and Louana Gentner (Alumni, KABK BA Graphic Design, 2020)
Year: 2018

‘An interesting disappointment, documented in an A3-sized publication', is the project description the designers give for the publication Where Does Our Sorted Plastic Go? The disappointment for Berglind Brá and her co-designer Louana Gentner was the lack of transparency they encountered when they attempted to research the journey of the carefully separated plastic after it is picked up. The pair of graphic designers based in the Netherlands used mapping and correspondence methods to undertake their research. They documented their research in a publication alongside an additional layer of commentary about the recycling process. Their findings left them feeling disenchanted with the Netherlands’ reputation as a "green" country. Ultimately, they discovered that much of the domestic plastic put out for recycling by well-intentioned individuals gets sent to countries with cheaper labour forces for further sorting and handling, from which only the crème-de-la-crème of plastics actually go on to be recycled. This means that the majority is left in huge plastic graveyards.

Where Does Our Sorted Plastic Go?

The following images show details of the final publication. All images are courtesy of Berglind Brá and Louana Gentner.

Excerpt from the introduction

This is a story by the French writer, farmer and environmentalist Pierre Rabhi. ‘Once upon a time, an immense forest fire was watched by all the terrified and powerless animals. There was also a tiny hummingbird flying from a small pond to the fire, each time sprinkling a few drops into the flame with its beak, and then again and again. The animals cried out, “Hey, you little fool, it’s not with your drops that you are going to stop the fire!” To which the hummingbird replied, “That may be, but I am doing my part”.’