Which moment was the most important success during your team’s Fantastic/Toxic Plastic Studio work? Which moment was the most important failure? Why?
Every minute a garbage truck filled to the brim dumps plastic into the ocean. This adds up to 8 million tons at the end of the year. We, as humans, are producing more and more plastic, while recycling less and less. We produce almost 20,000 plastic bottles every second, yet only recycle 23% of all plastic bottles every year.
As plastic enters the ocean, chemicals are released into the water that in turn affect EVERY marine animal. My team and I needed to know this information in order to understand why our client, a student-run club at our high school, wanted to tackle this specific issue in our community. Through a series of meetings and researching more about the affects our actions have on our oceans, we were able to gain empathy towards our client.
How might we make recycling plastic a fun experience for FIS students while also contributing to a good cause?
This is the statement we came up with for this build. During this short amount of time, we designed our product as an arcade game machine in which one would recycle an empty plastic bottle by using it as the “token”.
Early on in the build, our team failed at coming up with the specific game we should use or whether we should create our own. We tried out basketball, Power Drop, Gravity Hill, and multiple other arcade games. After learning that the plastic bottles themselves and their caps are actually different plastics and resultantly are recycled differently, it became obvious we needed to use this in our design. But how? We needed to figure out a way for the user to not only separate the two, but actually want to and understand why. We landed on the arcade game Plinko.
Finally constructing and being able to see in person what we had worked so hard to create was such a fulfilling moment in our work. It was so much fun to actually test out our prototype in the school cafeteria and to watch people interact with it. Some edits and additions that need to be made became evident in this learning opportunity. We also received a lot of positive feedback from FIS students who were very excited to use the machine as it is satisfying doing something quick for a good cause, yet very enjoyable!