Only Take What You Need, an Interactive Poster


As a Design student in Taylor’s University, you must had encountered issues on campus where you wish you are able to address the issue with DESIGN. Well, good news – for this assignment, you are to identify one problem / issue / difficulty that you yourself often come across with while being on the campus ground. Explore these experiences and write a reflective report about the subject matter, discussing the issue from your POV and translating that into a poster addressing the problem with challenging designs (think EDGY, controversial, provocative, intriguing, wham-bam-right in the face visual styles). Utilize the experiential learning cycle here to help you examine further your experiences and how you can benefit from the findings to product the artwork.


Adobe Photoshop

tissue poster garbage


“The toilet paper we use could go around the planet every 2 minutes, or travel to the sun and back every 10 days. It would cover an area more than twice the size of France every year” (The World Counts, n.d.). People may think this is such an exaggeration, but this data may very well be true considering the loads amount of tissue we use. Here, I would like to address why it is important to raise awareness towards Taylor students who are taking tissue excessively in the toilet.

The concern here is that tissue paper is making damage to our environment as production of tissue means cutting down trees which takes decades to grow. Paper plants also uses a lot of water and electricity, it emits pollution into the air and empties waste into waterways which worsens when the use of bleach to whiten the paper is practiced (Poppenheimer, 2013). But most importantly, usage of tissue paper is contributing to adding more waste to the world, a crisis that many countries are facing right now (Lohuizen, 2017).

So where and how does our waste end up? Most of us are privileged enough to only see the “good sides” of a product in its lifecycle. As consumers, we buy products, good as new, and then throw them out after usage. We rarely see what goes beyond that. I had always thought getting rid of waste is as simple as ABC. Garbage is collected, burnt to ashes, then poof, gone! The reality however, is horror.

“The world produces more than 3.5 million tons of garbage a day — and that figure is growing” (Lohuizen, 2017). As population and economies grow, so does produce and waste (Lohuizen, 2017). Currently, about 30 000 tons of waste is produced per day in Malaysia and only about 5% is recycled (Clean Malaysia, 2015). Due to poor waste management, most ended up piled in landfill sites where only 14 out of 170 of the disposal sites has sanitary landfill status (as of 2016) (Naidu, 2017). Dumps release methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming and burning trashes outdoors poses a health problem to people (Lohuizen, 2017).

The excessive tissue we took contributes to the waste crisis. Something that we used for mere seconds ended up among the heaps of the landfill mountains. Yes, more of us are switching to recycled tissue which is better for the environment, and yes, tissue manufacturers are getting more sustainable and environmental friendly but a waste is still a waste. In general, tissue paper takes 1 month to decompose. So why should we, if it would only harm our environment, and the people living around it?

I believe that our concern should not be limited to just tissue. As people living on earth we should grow an awareness on managing our waste.



This problem does not only apply to the staffs, teachers and students in Taylor's University, lots of people in the world are committing the same crime. In fact, I used to be guilty of it too.

Why do people take tissue over excessively? Taking this matter logically, first thing that came to mind is because it is free. Everyone loves free stuffs. That is why sometimes brands give free stuffs away as part of their marketing strategy. Knowing it’s free to take, people find no problem in taking however much they like. This in turn becomes a habit, something that’s hard to change. Imagine if public toilet tissues were charged per length starting today. I bet people would think twice before ripping a section from the roll. They would either take however much they need, bring their own tissue, or not bother taking any at all.

Second is the lack of awareness of the damage that is caused. It is not hard to throw away stuffs, someone will take care of it anyways. Not many people know that the world is piling with garbage. And even if they know, probably they just do not care. All we ever do is use, then throw when it is no longer usable. We never take care of what happens beyond that which is why we take it for granted. “‘Because we’re not seeing it, we think it’s not a problem,’ said Mark Dancy, president of WasteZero, one of the nation’s largest waste reduction companies” (Simmons, 2016).

I never realized how serious the waste problem is in the world until I see the landfill pictures in the articles. A mountain of waste, an everyday scenery for the scavengers, what a view. Imagine if this pile of garbage is going to keep on increasing for years and years to come. Is a world covered in trash somewhere we want to live in?



I figured the best way to raise awareness on this issue is to place my design in the area where the issue is acted out. The poster must be catchy enough, to create a pause and to attract the attention of people before, or when they are taking the tissue roll. A poster that interacts with the environment usually catches more attention, and it would be great if I can pull it off. For example, placing the poster in between the tissue dispenser and the garbage bin, or putting it in an unusual place.


In order to really show the grave situation to the viewers, showing landfill mountains is a must. With that I went for a collage style, to combine multiple images of landfills and photographs to form a nice composition. The whole poster has this messy aesthetic, due to the poster being about garbage, and this I did by with messy looking ink doodles and writings that I made myself and scanned. The poster becomes interactive with the ruler markings all along the tissue graphic, placed strategically so that when users roll out the tissue paper, they will have to measure it out and be conscious of how much they take.