In the 1990s, the mass production of plastic took off and quickly made its way into nearly every industry and manufacturing sector. Consumers and manufacturers preferred plastic over traditional materials as it was cheap, easily made, and extremely versatile. Since then, over 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic have been produced. Of that massive amount of plastic created, only 9% of it has been recycled. The remaining 91% is either incinerated, dumped into the environment, or buried in a landfill. Each of these disposal methods results in the release of toxic chemicals into our air, soils, and water sources. In return, our natural environment–from mountaintops to polar extremes to the deepest parts of the ocean–has become contaminated in a way that has ingrained plastic into the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe. Studies have shown that because of this, the average person consumes about 44 pounds of plastic over their lifetime.
Chelsey Boyle is a graphic designer originally from Capetown, South Africa and is currently based in Tempe, Arizona. She believes in maintaining ethical, sustainable, and forward-looking practices in her personal life and professional work. Her personal interests include: type design, ceramics, hiking, and traveling.