The Plastic Footprint System (trademark and patent pending) is the first to complete an end to end economic and ecological assessment of a product in order to develop a gap plan to fix the systematic problem. Today, the problem with plastic is not in its design, procurement, manufacture, use, or disposal, but rather all of the factors collectively. I have developed a detailed, integrated process to develop new designs, production, forms, uses and supply chain systems for plastic.
The problem with these small-format plastic products is more than a design problem, but an end to end supply chain challenge; for example, the problem of the bottle cap, tear offs, straws, lids, and sachets isn't in its material design, per se, but rather the overall design of how it is sourced, manufactured, distributed, used, and disposed. For example, it wouldn't be viable to redesign a bottle cap without understanding the bottled water supply chain, or a ketchup packet without the quick service restaurant model. Therefore, re-designing the material product by itself won't solve the problem in a mass production/consumption model.
We have conducted assessments of various materials/products to validate how our tool can achieve economic and ecological success in comparison to more conventional methods; in these cases, for example, we have found that a product design for use in Northern Europe has a different plastic footprint than the same item in Southeast Asia. As a result, this is the value of our tool: to develop an end to end assessment and mitigation tool so that all plastic materials can be economically and ecologically successful in a specific use/environment.