High-Tech meets Eco
The Swiss designer Beat Karrer researches new processing methods of bio-degradable plastics
There was no lack of euphoria in the last century when plastics and the corresponding industrial processing methods were developed. The world began to light up in all the colours of the rainbow, but few people were able to anticipate the effects which petroleum-based plastics would have on the global eco system in the future.
Today 225 tonnes of plastic are produced every year worldwide. Plastics owe their success above all to their useful properties, because they are easy to mould, durable, and above all cheap. Probably too cheap, because only a small percentage of this material, most of which can be recycled, is actually recovered. Apart from what is today seen as its devastating carbon footprint, plastic also makes a major contribution to global rubbish problems. An obvious example of this is the waste maelstroms which are formed in the oceans by the accumulation of floating rubbish. The biggest of these carpets of waste lies between California and Hawaii and has achieved the size of central Europe.
Material tests with biopolymeres by Beat Karrer