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Art & Culture

Guiltless Plastic: Building our future out of a global problem

By October 15, 2020May 23rd, 2023No Comments
© Rossana Orlandi - Guiltless Plastic

This year’s Ro Plastic Prize is centred around practical designs that have a positive impact on the environment, encouraging us to embrace the power of design as part of the solution to ocean plastic pollution.

“Plastic is not guilty. Abuse and misuse are the real problems.” These are the tag lines of ‘Guiltless Plastic’ , a project by Milan’s eclectic design gallerist Rossana Orlandi.

After a successful launch in 2018, Orlandi set on a mission to change the meaning and perception of plastic, creating a sense of guiltlessness when the material is put to good use. In 2019 the initiative ran an international design competition and the selected works were exhibited in Instituto Marangoni as part of the London Design Festival that same year. The selected works used post-consumer plastic from various sources including ocean plastic and showcased a tactile mix of sustainable design aesthetics and functionality.

This year, the Ro Plastic Prize, one of the initiatives by Guiltless Plastic, is back for a new edition with the aim of challenging and inspiring designers to rethink how objects are made. The competition was open to everyone from all backgrounds and ages, inviting a range of sophisticated creations by established designers alongside endearing drawings made by children during the first global lockdown. When the call for participants closed in March, the number of applications had doubled from the previous year, ranging from a 14-year-old from India to a nearly 80-year-old from Spain.

More than 600 candidates from 65 countries across five continents submitted ideas in the five categories. The five areas include: industrial design, innovative textiles, packaging solutions, conscious innovation projects and awareness on communication.

The selected finalists were asked to submit projects that are feasible in practical terms with the added value of contributing to an effective solution for our environmental impact _not just in the final outcome but during the design process itself.

In the video below, Orlandi explains the importance of shifting today’s design towards sustainability and using plastic more wisely. With millions of tonnes of plastic leaking into our oceans every year, she encourages others to consider waste as a valuable resource and to use the material in their work before it reaches the ocean.