Plastic, plastic everywhere: Littering our beaches, swirling into a giant island in the middle of the Pacific, landing in the bellies of birds and marine beasts. Artists are trying to prevent that with unique works.Many people seem to be in agreement that there is too much plastic in use and nowhere for it to go once it’s no longer needed. Those plastic toys, soda bottles and used toothbrushes need to land somewhere once they’re tossed out — and often, that means they end up on beaches and in the ocean.
With the protection of the environment high on their agenda, members of the European Commission have been looking at ways to reduce the amount of plastic in circulation. After proposing that individual member states find ways to reduce the use of plastic bags, in 2014, the European Parliament passed a directive calling for a reduction in these bags use by 50 percent by 2017 and 80 percent by 2019.
Now the EU Commission is planning a ban on plastic wasteand is looking into strategies to reduce single-use plastic — items including coffee cups and lids, plasticware and to-go food containers. Brussels’ priority, Frans Timmermans told The Guardian and other newspapers, was to chip away at the amount of throwaway plastics, “that take five seconds to produce, you use it for five minutes and it takes 500 years to break down again.”
Read more:Germany’s waste problem: Recycling isn’t enough
But what to do about all those plastics already floating around?
Artists and designers around the globe have been looking at creative ways to reuse the plastic that’s already landed on beaches. Spanish artist Joan Miro collected the rubbish that washed ashore on the beaches of Mallorca on his morning walks and turned them into colorful monster-like sculptures. Ghana-born artist Ed Franklin Gauva turns trash into Yiiiiikakaii masks. And the sportswear company Adidas created a line of sneakers that employed recycled fishing nets into the Adidas x Parley line, aimed at drawing awareness to ocean pollution.
Have a look in the picture gallery above to see the innovative ways other artists are reusing plastic in their work.