Art has always been a form of creative expression. Artists, painters, sculptors, actors, and even singers use their craft to embody their thoughts and feelings. Over the years, art has been used to channel emotions and raise awareness of social and political issues.
A new form of art is now emerging and gaining popularity around the world. Artists are using their creativity and skills to further environmental efforts. Through their inspiring artwork, they are making people realize the importance of solid waste management and the harmful effects of environmental pollution. The growing trend of creating art from plastic waste is encouraging thousands around the world to reduce their use of single-use plastics.
Why Focus on Plastic?
Many environmentalists have argued that our plastic footprint is worse than the carbon footprint. Plastic is manufactured from oil, which itself is a non-renewable source. After millions of years of natural decay, oil and gas are formed beneath the earth. The limited supply of oil and gas makes it a precious natural resource.
Single use plastics like mineral water bottles and disposable cutlery are a huge burden on our natural resources. It takes almost 17 million barrels of oil just to produce single use plastic bottles. These plastic bottles are not only expensive to manufacture but their non-biodegradable nature makes their safe disposal a challenge for environmentalists. Plastic is a synthetic material that cannot be decomposed naturally by living organisms.
Untreated plastics that are not broken down into simpler organic molecules can stay in the environment for 500-1000 years. Currently, 79% of all our plastic waste ends up in landfills or is thrown into the ocean. It is said that almost 8.3 million tons of plastic waste is disposed in the ocean every year. It includes 236,000 tons of ingestible microplastics that marine life mistakes for food and dies as a result of poisoning. 100 million marine animals die each year from plastic waste alone. They either get entangled in the plastic films that are floating at the bottom of the ocean or ingest plastic waste and die as they are unable to digest it. It is believed that the presence of plastic waste in our oceans has become such a serious threat that by 2050, we will have more plastic in our oceans than fish.
With such high stakes, it is vital that artists along with environmentalists create awareness about the harmful effects of plastic waste and inspire people to combat it through their artworks.
5 Inspiring Works of Art from Plastic Waste
1. Help the Planet, Help the Humans Installation
Created by Maria Christina Finucci, this installation was showcased in Milan during the Salone Del Mobile Milan exhibition. The project was installed in the lush green lawn of Cortile d’Onore.
With the help of student volunteers from Università Roma Tre and Caritas, Maria and her team gathered around 2 tons of plastic caps and bound them in red mesh sacks that are used for food packaging. The bundle was placed inside metal frameworks that were used to create four large letters of the word HELP. She used this tactic as an appeal to mankind to stop polluting the seas with plastic waste.
She wanted to make it sound as if the earth and all its living creatures were giving mankind an SOS signal and begging for help.
This is not the first time, that Maria has made desperate efforts in creating awareness and putting a stop to environmental pollution. In 2016 and 2018, she presented her work at the island of Mozia in Sicily and at the Roman Forum in Rome.
She said “During these years in which I made installations in various parts of the world to denounce plastic in the oceans, my project has been transformed and is not limited to the impelling environmental issue, but places it at the center of the individual and the whole life on the planet.”
In 2013, Maria became the founder of Garbage Patch State. It is a federal state that is composed of 5 islands that have been formed by plastic waste in the oceans. With a land size of 16 million square kilometers, it is the 2nd largest country in terms of area.
In 2019, artists Von Wong and Joshua Goh collaborated with the social impact strategist, Laura Francois and over a hundred volunteers to create Plastikophobia. This artwork was created within a short period of 10 days.
The captivating art installation is made from 18,000 single use plastic cups that were collected from local restaurants and cafés across Singapore. It was created to raise awareness about the plastic pollution caused by single use plastics.
It was on display at the Sustainable Singapore Gallery until April 18th, 2019.
3. Mural-by-the-Sea, Everyday Plastic
In 2017, artist Daniel Webb was hired to create a billboard sized mural for an amusement park in Margate, England. To create this mural for Dreamland, Webb collected approximately 4,500 pieces of plastic of which 93% was single use plastic.
The pieces were laid on a rig that measured 5m in height and 6m in width. Photographer Ollie Harrop photographed the billboard. The final mural, which was created by putting together 20 photographs, now measures 13m in width and 4m in height.
Webb had said “It’s a colourful, abstract and beautiful representation of my life in 2017, yet it shows the extent of the problem of disposing of our plastic waste responsibly”.
4. Wave of Waste
This beautiful yet thought provoking piece of art was the brainchild of the beer brand, Corona and a charitable foundation, Parley for the Oceans. This collaborative art installation was made for a billboard in London and features a plastic wave with Australian actor Chris Hemsworth surfing on it.
The plastic wave was made from the plastic litter collected from the Holywell beach by the Marine Conservation Society. Londoners were also given the invitation to drop off their plastic waste at a collection point in Old Street
Felipe Ambra, the Global Vice President of Corona Beer said “As a brand that is synonymous with the beach, we are seeing the destruction of shorelines and oceans up close. Our ads usually showcase paradise the way we assume it to be, pristine and beautiful, but today it’s increasingly hard to find a beach without plastic. Through our work with Parley, we hope to reverse this trend. This World Oceans Day, Corona wants to remind the world that we all need to protect our beaches to continue enjoying them.”
5. Giant Octopus
Made by the Australian artist Jacq Chorlton in 2010, the 4m tall giant octopus was made from colorful plastic bags that were woven together to make this sculpture. Chorlton affectionately named his work “20,000 Bags Under the Sea”.
The giant octopus was on display at the beach in Australia and was made for Rockingham Castaway Sculpture Awards. It won the prestigious People’s Choice Award.
Chorlton’s colorful, striped, giant octopus was a reference to the bad impact that plastic bags have on the marine life.
If you are interested in creating works of art from plastic waste or want to learn more about solid waste management then contact us today. Century Waste Management is your source for best and affordable dumpster rentals.