After comments this week, I decided to collect thoughts and free write .
To start, numerous aliments, diseases, and species require shots. This can include allergy shots, Multiple Sclerosis, Hepatitis, and animals. Diabetes Type I is a polygenic disease, and the cause of it is still unknown. It has to be controlled with shots, and can start in early childhood. It never truly goes away. It’s a type of autoimmune destruction of insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas.
But I also want to look at other biological waste products. My research will look into all of these products, not needles. However, depending on what the research yields, my thesis may have to just focus on needle usage for all ailments.
The next step is to start researching all types of biological waste (hard materials used), and to start finding readings that discuss any aspect of this concern/field (this could be a challenge). This in turn would determine my focus, as mentioned above.
There is no perfect solution, but ideally a better disposal method is needed for today’s issue. The package is redesigned to ‘accept’ used materials, but separated from the new. Then the consumer could mail or dropoff, to which the waste industry or pharmacy would further the package of used materials to proper disposal. The company that produces these could also forward/accept these packages.
I see the actual material design being figured out by industrial designers and related positions. It’s probably difficult finding an alternative material for needles, for example. Graphic design is probably more involved in the package design, environmental design, and awareness, with possible input on the product design.
This thesis could include: creating awareness about the current issue, introducing consumers to the idea, re-design package designs to accept used materials, creating environmental signs/drop off centers (if the drop off solution is selected), involving medical companies, pharmacies, and the waste industries.
Questions to ask:
What are all the hard waste biological materials produced? Beside needles.
Do consumers even care about the biological waste they produce using certain medical products (hard materials)? Or who it even affects? Do the companies even care?
What would help the consumer in making the right decision in disposing of these products (by not throwing them in the trash)? How do we educate the consumer about this effort? Do we monitor results?
What can be done to reduce the hazardous waste that gets thrown in the trash? How do we protect those who handle it?
What happens to the package once the consumer preps it? Would they be mailed, or dropped off somewhere? Where does it go afterwards? Who picks up the packages?
One major resource to tap into: the medical faculty here at Cincinnati, and the waste industry (along with a pharmacy). SCAD faculty include two professors, one specializing in package design, and one specializing in sustainability.