Shelly Marshall is a self-taught artist who teamed up with a local ocean conservation group, Ocean Hour, to launch a striking anti-littering campaign on the beaches of Gulf Breeze, Florida. They got together and gathered 1,200 cigarettes in under an hour. This staggering amount of litter inspired Shelly to make “Cig” who she hopes will show beach-goers how damaging their waste is to marine environments and animals.

Meet “Cig” the Sea Turtle.

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He is made from the 1,200 cigarette butts that Shelly and Ocean Hour collected.

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Shelly told The Creators Project, “I wanted to do something shocking, I wanted to create something eye-catching that was both interesting and repulsive at the same time.”

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And a sea turtle made from wet, used cigarette butts is . . . well, repulsive and shocking.

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It took Shelly 10 hours to bring Cig to life.

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And now, Cig is making his way around the beaches of Gulf Breeze as the new spokes-turtle in an anti-littering campaign. 

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Shelly wanted to use the waste from the beaches to show the real victims of litter, marine life. From cigarettes to bottles, we produce around  300 million tons of disposable plastics every year but only 15 percent of these plastics are properly recycled. Every year around 8.8 million tons of plastic end up on our beaches and in our oceans. This plastic waste currently threatens over 800 species of marine life. We need people like Shelly and campaigns like Cig to raise awareness about this problem but you can help too.

There are easy ways to cut disposable plastics out of your everyday life. Buy a reusable water bottle to bring with you when you leave the house instead of buying a plastic one, and grab a tote bag with you when you go to the grocery store. For more information about the costs of plastic and how you can reduce your plastic waste, join One Green Planet’s Crush Plastic campaign.

Let’s #CrushPlastic! Click the graphic below for more information.

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All image source: Shelly Marshall/Facebook and The Creators Project 

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