Plastic Digestion Unit

a project by Nader Abilmona

The goal of my Project Consume will be to raise awareness on the toxicity of human consumerism on the individual (household) level, and present a proposal to mitigate this damage. 

I chose to take this approach because in my personal experience, many of my friends, family, and clients believe that an eco-friendly lifestyle is both unattainable and/or intrusive. Moreover, the stigma surrounding environmental change is that the real catalyst for change is held in the power of the government and large corporations, leaving progress on the individual level to be worthless. My goal with Project Consume is to break this stigma and hopefully spark innovation/excitement. 

The theme of Project Consume will be centered on decomposition and the byproducts of human consumerism on the household level. The design is to have both in-house and outdoor habitats of worms that have been scientifically proven to consume and break down plastics. Also featured in Project Consume will be two spherical drums laid horizontally and buried halfway underground. These drums will contain an enzyme that has been proven to rapidly breakdown plastics in a matter of hours. The drums and worm habitats will be perforated to allow the CO2-O2 exchange, and will also be designed for easy and practical use through simple hatches for the homeowner to easily dispose of the plastics. 

The quantity of the worm habitats and the enzyme drums in the design will be determined by the average rate of plastic consumption by the standard American home. I will then calculate and compare the rate of decomposition to that of the home’s plastic consumption, in order to gauge roughly how many units will need to be installed. It’s important to note that these estimates can vary drastically as a result of several factors including (region, number of tenants, climate, etc.) and since this is a relatively new and niche topic of research, we have a less than ideal amount of objective data from the laboratory setting. Nonetheless, everything has a starting point. 

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