While most countries have a difficult time figuring out how to get rid of their plastic garbage heaps, a group in Sweden just used crowdfunding as a means to import a huge load of plastic trash into its borders – and for good cause. The “cargo” they received, comprising everything from shampoo bottles and ketchup bottle caps, to party balloons and toys, to laundry baskets and plastic display cases, has been fashioned into a new art exhibit for the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich.
This latest installment of the Plastic Garbage Project, called “Out to Sea,” is designed to “raise awareness, build understanding and generate action on one of the most urgent environmental problems of our time.”
And when this group says “urgent,” they’re not kidding. It is estimated that there are 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in every square mile of our planet’s oceans, and this number is growing, as 8.8 million tons of plastic is dumped into this great body of water each year. Some say by 2050 there will literally be more plastic in the oceans than fish, and that’s a seriously scary thought.
This non-renewable, manmade, petroleum-based material has already infiltrated some of the deepest regions of our seas and wormed its way into Arctic ice. And here’s the clincher: It will never go away. It may break down into smaller and smaller pieces, but that only works to amplify the damage it causes to marine life, marine ecosystems, and our own health, as microplastics persist all the way up the food chain.
We can opt to harm our own bodies for the sake of convenience, but marine species – such as fish, whales, dolphins, turtles, seabirds, seals and sea lions, and even polar bears – don’t have that choice. In fact, more than 700 marine species are threatened with extinction through no fault of their own, but instead through our attachment and indiscriminant use of this highly destructive, but indestructible, material. But we can change that – and that’s what this exhibit is hoping to inspire by bringing people face-to-face with the fruits of their actions and choices.
The “Out to Sea” exhibit will be on display through June 30, 2017, but you don’t have to witness these creations, nor wait another second, to start making a real difference on your own. You can begin right now by:
- Refilling your reusable water bottles, instead of buying bottled water, and ditching disposable coffee cups.
- Carrying your own reusable bags at all times instead of introducing ever more plastic bags into the environment.
- Bringing your own reusable to-go containers and utensils with you to restaurants and stores.
- Not using plastic straws, period.
- Steering clear of products, like facial cleansers, that contain microbeads.
- Avoiding microfibers and other synthetic fabrics in clothing and other textile products (unless, perhaps, if they’re recycled).
Check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign for more ideas and inspiration.
Let’s #CrushPlastic! Click the graphic below for more information.
All image source: Plastic Garbage Project/Facebook