Students design impactful bin to cut down on beach plastic waste

Two students from the University of East London (UEL) have designed a bin that encourages people to responsibly dispose of plastic waste near beaches. 

Emily Hodgkinson and George Davis, third-year students on the University’s BSc Product Design course, created the bin casing in the shape of a life ring with imagery and messaging that highlights the impact of plastic pollution on sea life.

The charity GreenSeas Trust approached UEL product design academics to ask if students would be interested in creating an impactful design for a bin which would inspire more people on beaches to dispose of plastic waste in bins.

The University, in collaboration with environmental charity GreenSeas Trust and the Mayor of Blackpool, is helping to launch the bin at Blackpool Pier on June 5, World Environment Day.

The goal is to roll out additional bins to other seaside towns around the UK as part of the charity’s #BinsForGreenSeas campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the dangers to marine life from plastic pollution.

GreenSeas’ campaign slogan is ‘throw marine life a lifeline’.

Emily Hodgkinson said: ‘I believe that product designers have a responsibility to create something now that will also consider the future of our planet.

‘Since designing the bin for GreenSeas, I have developed a greater appreciation of the need to protect our oceans and wildlife from the ever-growing threat of plastic waste.’

George Davis added: ‘The project was important to me personally as I had spent many years sailing as an instructor in the sea cadets and saw first-hand the widespread impact plastic waste has on the sea.

‘This project has helped to develop my understanding of product design and the major impact the objects we design have on the earth. It’s time for eco-friendly designs to become the norm.’


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