The complexity of plastic bags

As societies face increasingly complex problems, design is emerging as the tool to solve some of Asia’s biggest issues. Through field trips with designers skilled in human-centered design, the team behind Ethnographers’ Field Guide to Innovation, a new series on Singapore’s Channel NewsAsia, see how meaning is found in everyday surrounds and how people are key to unlocking innovation.

The first episode focuses on the plastic bag challenge. Plastic bags are so deeply entrenched in Cambodian culture that they generate one of the largest amount of plastic bag waste in the world. Using Design Thinking to deconstruct human psychology and the ecosystem of waste, designers hope to alleviate this problem by formulating a three-pronged solution: the design of alternatives to plastic bags, a behavioural change campaign and the formulation of policy.