Plastic Justice

Plastic Justice is a pan-European educational collaboration between five art and design academies in The Hague, Reykjavík, Barcelona, London and Vilnius. Together with regional environmentally engaged NGOs and scientists, the educational programme, including a conference, exhibition and website, focusses on the long-term impact of invisible micro-plastics on the human body. Plastic Justice aims to create new knowledge through cross-academic exchange and field-research promoting conscious design education for an upcoming generation.

Plastic Justice is funded by the Strategic Partnership programme of the European Union. Participating schools are: the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, Iceland University of the Arts in Reykjavík, Elisava in Barcelona, Central Saint Martins (UAL) in London and Vilnius Academy of Art together with ELIA – European League of Institutes of the Arts.


  • Civic engagement / responsible citizenships
  • Cooperation between education institution and industry
  • Social / environmental responsibilities of education institutions


The Plastic Justice project aims to foster new knowledge production about the effect of microplastics on health by creating and developing networks between science, relevant NGOs and the arts. This will be achieved through collaboration between the project partners (art and design schools) and researchers and local NGOs, to create curricula aimed at generating communication material that is well-informed and up-to-date on the micro-plastics issue. The collaboration model developed in this project could serve as a precedent and later be used to address other “wicked problems” (Rittel and Webber, 1973) linked to sustainability issues.


  1. Enhance and develop educational practices by creating teaching guide to actively inform the design process.
  2. Create a network of collaborative learning, by bringing together academic peers, environmental experts, climate activists, lawyers, journalists, business professionals and policy makers for joint knowledge exchange and discussion.
  3. Connect designers with scientists, to ensure that valuable research being conducted in different scientific fields can reach a broader audience through design thinking and visualization.
  4. Influence policy on the topic of micro-plastics.

Intellectual Outputs

  • Plastic Justice Case Files: Online repository of information about microplastics and health.
  • Plastic Justice Advocacy: Teachers’ guide with tools and methodology to include microplastics issues in the arts and graphic design curricula.
  • Plastic Justice Verdict: Policy brief based on the project results.