This month the EU made a landmark decision to ban many single-use plastic products. In most countries, there is no adequate way to dispose of them, yet investments continue to be made in plastic production.
The DW "Oil and Plastic" web special highlights the global plastic problem in a deeply researched and elegantly illustrated "scrollytelling" format.
The web special is available in English, German and Spanish: dw.com/plastic
To explore the issue, we follow the journey of a shampoo sachet. An estimated 164 million are consumed daily in the Philippines alone. The production path of this everyday item begins underground and ends up in the ocean, and illustrates the complex relationships between the fossil fuel, petrochemical, and packaging industries. It presents a fresh look at the practical solutions for dealing with the plastic pollution crisis.
DW Head of Environment, Vanessa Fischer: "The challenge was to break down the very extensive research results without distorting information. This web special works without quotes, video, or photos. Instead, we use text, illustration, and animation. The simplicity is what makes it strong."
Illustrator and designer, Nora Tomm: "The leitmotif of the narrative is the orange and black colors, which stand for the plastic and fossil fuel industries. The latter is heavily dependent on plastic production."
Authors Tamsin Walker and Holly Young on the intensive collaboration between editorial and design: "We worked together on the storyboard from the beginning, making sure we could interweave words and images in such a way that the complex and socially important topic would be conveyed in an engaging and clear way."
The web special was financed through the International Climate Initiative (IKI).