Can you help solve the plastics problem?

National Geographic 30 April 2019

Plastic is choking our oceans. A new design and innovation challenge is calling upon the next generation of changemakers to reverse our planet’s pollution problem.

We made plastic. We depend on it. Now we’re drowning in it. It pools in the farthest reaches of the ocean and collects on the slopes of the highest mountains; researchers have found it in whales’ bellies and in the groundwater reserves we tap for drinking. Every day, about one megaton more is produced, enough to make almost 22 trillion water bottles—and more than 90 percent of that will never see the inside of a recycling plant.

The question is – what can we do about it? How can we stop this ‘miracle material’ from drowning the planet?


National Geographic and global innovation consultancy R/GA believe that the next generation of changemakers may have the answer. Built on a firm belief that transformational ideas can come from anywhere, from anyone, the two organisations have joined forces to launch Make Good – a unique platform on a mission to accelerate design, technology, and innovation for a better world.

Tapping into Australia’s latent creativity and expertise, the Make Good project is currently inviting Australians to put their best idea forward to defy plastic and reverse the harm it is inflicting on our oceans. Applicants will be applying for a place at a Defy Plastic Innovation Lab, held during the first ever plastic-free Semi-Permanent Festival 2019 in Sydney (23rd – 25th May).

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