Debunking Plastic Myths

Taking a creative approach to highlight the scientific research around plastic to be consumed by a wider audience.

Client GRID Arendal
UN SDGs 12 Responsible Consumption And Production 13 Climate Action
TechnologiesPHP, MySQL

01 Introduction

GRID-Arendal is a non-profit environmental communications centre based in Norway. They transform environmental data into innovative, science-based information products and provide capacity-building services that enable better environmental governance.

Supported by the Ministry of the Climate and Environment of Norway, GRID-Arendal requested help from AndAnotherDay to create a web application to show 10 common myths about plastics and plastic waste.

Using scientific evidence from publications, grey literature and state-of-the-art information from practitioners in the field, each myth is debunked. The analysis of these myths provides insights into the issues around plastic recycling that face our society, and demonstrate the overlapping nature of the challenges and the strategies for what we can do. Further analysis is needed to provide a fully comprehensive analysis of plastic production and waste.

02 The Project

Initially, after only being supplied with the potential headings for each myth, we wire-framed different ways of presenting the scientific research so that it could be consumed easily by a non-scientific audience.

Rather than simply creating an attractive design we undertook a period of research to make the project memorable. Initially, we set about finding a typeface that the project can own and that will give personality, that feels authentic and on-theme and that while being serious, still feels a little playful.

We then looked through colour options. Attempting to avoid cliched and over-used recycling colours of greens we took inspiration from the highly coloured world of plastic and recycling. Then, to create an alternative set of swatches we took looked towards sun-bleached plastics – once-rich colours having lost their vitality in contrast to dark and dirty colours.

From these foundations, we created different layout options to explore.

It was decided to take a illustrative approach which was both friendly and, because of the unique approach, memorable. The design was hand-drawn by the AndAnotherDay team and interactive hotspots added to reveal the research. Information about each myth was accompanied with action points, detailed references, and downloadable PDFs.

03 Conclusion

This project recognises the achievements in plastic waste management but points out the distance left to go to achieve our recycling goals and a circular economy.

The project was widely received in its initial language (English) and has since been translated into Spanish, French, Russian, Chinese and Arabic. Chinese and Arabic presented AndAnotherDay with small challenges, but the approach taken in the original application meant these were minor.