The project is the reaction to the single used plastic packaging and any unnecessary plastic which enters our lives. Combining the studio photography, collage which is creating plastic mandala universe, street art and social experiment held with my neighbours.
Mandala is a spiritual symbol representing the universe. What is the society which became so dependent on plastic like? Plastic takes hundreds of years to decompose, it pollutes our seas and breaks into micro-particles which can easily enter our food chains. The solution is not to ban all plastic as it is used in many industries, but we can ban the plastic which is unnecessary. If the plastic package helps to tackle the food waste, what if we are distributing our food in a better way instead of wrapping it? What if we are more responsible customers reducing the purchase of plastic, reusing the plastic and recycling it? What if the system offers the programs for complete recycling? Every Age has its own material and this Age became the Age of Plastic and our society The Plastic Society, as such we have to find the solution how to deal with it responsibly!
I asked my neighbours to cooperate on recycling of the plastic waste. If we seek the change we have to start with ourselves and I believe that my neighbours can inspire the others to be more conscious about the plastic pollution. I hope this social experiment will bring us some better insights into how much plastic waste we use and throw away.
During my erasmus exchange program in Rotterdam I have noticed in many supermarkets there are fruits and vegetables wrapped in plastic packaging. It is not only cucumbers which are claimed to stay fresher if packed in the foil or the citruses and onions in the fishnet bags which reminds me so much of fishnet tights.
The plastic packaging of fruits and vegetables covers the big amount of all plastics we consume. It is not clear for consumers what types of plastics we consume and it is not clear what health risks we are imposed to from using the plastics as the food packaging.
It is known that plastics often end up in the ocean where they are very dangerous to aquatic life. It takes hundreds of years for plastics to decompose and they are breaking into micro-plastics which can enter our food chains.
Plastic heroes initiative is here to inform people about the plastics and the city of Rotterdam is responsible for collecting the plastic waste from citizens. However, all the plastic is then passed on the sorter (company called Suez) which than decides what is recycled. The company did not communicate with me, therefore, it is not clear to me how much collected plastic is going to be recycled at the end and how much goes to landfill.
The last but not least, the plastic as material can not be really recycled, it is rather downcycled, which means that for example the plastic bottle can not be recycled back into new plastic bottle but only to lower graded plastic item. However, currently the innovators are finding the solutions how to recycle plastic bottles into another food-grade plastic bottles. The innovations must take place in this field and according to my opinion, the governments should be more responsible for the waste if the producers are not!
I call for all my neighbours to help reduce, reuse and recycle plastic packaging!
From 1. - 31.5. I collected 650 pieces of plastic rubbish for recycling (573 pieces in 22 days for the video shoot). This consisted of:
- 234 plastic packaging of food (including cheese, meat, nuts, sweets, oils, cling films, etc.)
- 88 plastic packaging of fruits and vegetables
- 83 single used plastic bottles
- 75 plastic bags
- 36 palstic packaging of pastry and breads
- 14 plastic packaging of cosmetics and toileteries
- 120 plastic packaging of non-food or non-identified items
There are 7 groups of plastics (PET 1, HDPE 2, PVC 3, LDPE 4, PP 5, PS 6, OTHER 7). Some plastics are more and some less suitable for food-graded packaging. It is worth to investigate what kind of toxins plastics include (because it is not obligatory for companies to specified the information on the packaging). Toxins and additives can lead to several disseases. The good source of information can be found online – e.g. United Stated Environmental Protection Agency EPA or a Dutch platform Plastic Heroes.
It was harder to identify what types of plastics we consume. Some packaging contains no identification code, some containers are made of different types of plastics (plastic bottle/plastic lid).
Roughly, I can say that the most common type of plastics we use is PET 1 (125 pieces), PP 5 (41 pieces), PS 6 (25 pieces), LDPE 4 (16 pieces), Other 7 (7 pieces), HDPE 2 (6 pieces). 430 pieces were not identified and there was no item included in the group PVC 3.
The Plastic Society, 2018
31/5 2018 - It might not be there, public art installation, the group exhibition, Rotterdam
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