Plastic Pollution Art
One million sea birds and 100.000 marine mammals are killed every year by our plastic trash – poisoned, choking on it, starving or suffocating to death while trapped in a piece of trash.
Virtually every piece of plastic that was ever made still exists in some shape or form – except the small amount of plastic waste that gets incinerated, it’s all still there – floating in our oceans and hanging in the trees. Because plastic can take hundreds or even thousands of years to degrade, the plastic bag you used for 15 minutes could be around longer than your grandchildren. And in those 15 minutes, more than 15 million new plastic bags were made.
We’re used to plastic being everywhere around us and mostly don’t think about what happens after we throw it in the trash. That’s why plastic pollution art is a great way to draw attention to the problem:
An unknown artist at the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development, held in Rio, used plastic bottles to build three gigantic fish on the beach, and illuminated them at night.
Chinese artist Wang Zhiyuan’s giant anti-pollution sculpture is entirely made from plastic trash. Thrown to the Wind is 11 meters (36 feet) high and looks like an upside-down tornado. Using hundreds of plastic containers of all sizes, the artist aims to draw attention to plastic pollution in Beijing.
US-based artist Ele Goudreau’s illustrations are often inspired by nature and, sadly, its destruction. At first glance we see a happy girl surrounded by flowers, but then we see all the trash lying beneath them and are reminded that it probably won’t degrade even after the girl grows up.
Photographer Mandy Barker’s work contrasts the visual beauty of rearranged plastic debris collected around the world with the ugliness of the problem. Her series Penalty examines the issue through one object – footballs.
769 footballs and pieces of footballs, along with 223 other types of balls, were collected from 41 different countries and islands around the World – from 144 different beaches and by 89 members of the public in just 4 months.
Seattle-based artist Chris Jordan made a trash version of Hokusai’s iconic Great Wave. It’s made of 2.4 million pieces of plastic that were collected from the Pacific Ocean and represents the 2.4 million pounds (over a million kilograms) of pollutants that are dumped in our oceans every hour.
In other words: reduce, reuse, recycle! And maybe even get involved with environmental initiatives fighting plastic pollution, if you’d like to contribute more.