So, today my participation in the #marchmeetthemaker "challenge" has triggered the writing of this little article. In truth, it has been a long time coming but life has a habbit of taking over, and one tends to get on with it letting everything else just go by, without giving much thought to what else happens in the world.
It is much like ignoring the human and environmental cost of owning precious metals and gems jewellery (more about this in future blogs). Which brings me to the topic I will touch on today - and the reason I have shifted my perspective, and my business core vlue. Plastic, or plastic derived jewellery. Usually when plastic is mentioned, one automatically associates it with pollution of the oceans and dirty streets. And you would be right to think so when it comes to overuse of plastic bags, overuse product packaging and so on, which usually end on landfills rather than recycling centres.
The truth is that only 9.5% of the recyclable plastic actually gets recycled, the rest of 90.5% ends up on the landfill as waste according to Ocean Plastic Debris Education Research Awareness . For this reason I have started to collect most of my household plastics and turn them into jewellery pieces. Not only that but also these pieces can be recycled again, and again, and again (check my Ethos pages for more info).
There are many types of plastic derived jewellery out there and many that look like plastic that are not actualy plastic at all, think cellulose acetate - Banton Frame Works makes this from wood pulp. Plastic jewellery is not always "the bad guy", but the beauty in it is undertstanding in what circumstances plastic jewellery can be "the bad guy". A lot of jewellery found in big shops (including supermarkets and department stores) and chains (such as Accessorise and Claire's), are either not ethically sourced -meaning they have a human cost or the manufacturing processes have an environmental impact, or sadly, both.
Polymer clay is another type of plastic derived material and another medium I have chosen to work with - because it is ethical, non toxic, and when processed properly, has virtually zero environental impact - this usually happens only in small businesse. I will expand on this in another blog.