I’ve been lucky enough to recently embark on a life affirming trip, a real ‘bucket list’ job!

I’ve just returned from 9 days surfing in the Central Atolls of the Maldives, traveling through the islands on the beautiful ‘Gurahali’, it was everything you could of imagined and more.

One morning three of us decided to swim over to the island we were moored off of, to do a bit of snorkeling and generally enjoying our stay – after seeing turtles and Eagle Rays we walked up this pristine white beach backed by the swaying palms – then rounded the headland to be greeted by this…

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A wasteland of plastic running for over 200 meters along the beach – literally speechless the three of us just stood and gawped at the desperate sight. A real moment when I lost something deep inside…still not really sure if its faith in the human race or just a bitter disappointment…

Back to the title – can design help save the planet?

I sincerely hope it can make a difference, from product/packaging designers looking at low impact biodegradable materials. When pitching new FMCG ideas look at the environmental impacts of all the packaging put in place recycling programs like Patagonia, where they take back their old products and re-introduce them back into their manufacturing processes once recycled.

It’s already had a profound effect on me and RC – as today we pitched a packaging solution that we completely re-engineered based on me seeing the bottles on the beach in the Maldives and then questioning our own thought processes.

But if all that fails and us designers cannot save the planet – just do one really simple thing don’t throw plastic into the oceans or on beaches…a bin is a much better place for it!