Overview of Project Consume
In FA for the 2nd half of the trimester, we did a project called project consume. Project Consume is about looking at the full journey that a plastic we picked goes through, from oil (extraction), going into a factory (production), being given to shops (distribution), being bought and consumed by people (consumption) before being thrown away (disposal). We had to look at and see if the process that it went through was sustainable, and if not then what would be a more sustainable way. I decided that the process of a milk bottle (plastic HDPE/High Density Polyethylene) was not sustainable, for lots of reasons. We had to create a video that displayed this, and my video was about how the process of plastic is not sustainable. I hoped that when people watched my video, they realized that we have to do more then just recycle, but we have to refuse plastic. Recycling helps, but plastic can be recycled a limited amount of times, before the plastic becomes unsafe to use and low quality.
Many people were surprised that we have small microplastics in our body that are there because of ocean life. These microplastics end up in our body because they go through the food chain: little plankton can eat the small microplastics (or nanoplastics) small fish eat the plankton, bigger fish eat the smaller fish and we eat the big fish! This means that we get plastic in our bodies. I wanted that message to be displayed, because the more we buy the more that will be put in the ocean. This changed many people’s opinion about plastic, and that they don’t want to buy it. If I had to do the video again, I would probably try to make it a bit shorter, but I still liked what I said in the video, as it portrayed a big message.
Reflection to the Driving Question
There is a negative relationship between sustainability and consumption that exists in many forms including the hidden costs associated with extraction and production, the toll of production and disposal on marine life and the environment, and the fact that micro plastics are getting into our water systems and our bodies because of single use plastic. One aspect I found really interesting was the concept of microplastics. Microplastics are the product of plastics breaking down into small pieces. Small fish swallow these microplastics, larger fish eat the smaller fish and we eat the large fish. In the end, we get plastic in our bodies. Humans are still trying to figure out the concept of this, as we are still unsure whether these microplastics can reach a persons liver or kill them. I found that something really interesting, and found that it helped me with my thinking and the relationship between consumption and sustainability. Before this project, I thought that the answer to plastic is to recycle it, or to use other products. Now I think that recycling is the thing that we wish could help us. We can recycle things a limited amount of time, as the more we recycle the worse the plastic gets. The plastic will eventually get into a landfill or a garbage patch, and will stay there for perhaps a thousand years. This means that recycling won’t help, and the only thing we can do is to refuse plastic. If we refuse plastic, then we use less plastic, and can help the environment and us more. I still have a big question about this project. The question is, will we ever get rid of plastic, or is it too late? Do we now consider the plastic as a need now? And in the end, will the plastic be the thing that ends the world, because it was too late and we couldn’t go back?