Florida’s Saltwater Brewery has a pretty clever idea for replacing those environment-destroying plastic rings holding your Tecate cans together: animal food. Technically, the rings are a combination of wheat and barley, leftover from the brewing process. The brewery hopes the biodegradable (and fully digestable!) packaging will help stop marine life and birds from choking on plastic.
Lego’s 57-year-old toy empire was built on plastic. But now the giant Danish toy company is investing millions into getting rid of it. By 2030, Lego bricks will no longer be made from ABS, the oil-based plastic in the 60 billion blocks the company makes each year.
Sculptures, along with landmark pieces of design including furniture, fashion and even toys are among museum exhibits that are suffering decay, ranging from discolouration to a disintegration to powder, shrinkage and stress cracking. In the V&A, the Blow chair – designed with layers of PVC in 1969 as the first inflatable chair to be mass produced – has become completely rigid. The foam in an early 1970s Larry the Lamb toy – within the V&A’s Museum of Childhood holdings – has deteriorated and can no longer even be handled; while once-slinky 1960s PVC dress has become “very sticky” because plasticers are coming to the surface, attracting dust that attacks it still further.