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Plastics In Our Waterways

By Deb Kramer

Every now and then, something catches the eye. Art from trash…art about trash.

Recently, we’ve been seeing more plastics, especially Styrofoam, in our waterways and at our creek cleanups. Surely you’ve hear of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (actually there are two, and five around the world) where plastics float in the oceans, some the size of Texas.

A pair of artists decided to raise awareness of the harm plastics do to our environment with giant sculptures the size of a school bus out of…plastic.

The goal of artists Matthew LaPenta and Jana Cruder is to change how people think about plastic, and influence consumer behavior. (Avishay Artsy/KQED)

A recent article by KQED News highlighted their work. An exhibit in Los Angeles puts these plastics in your face…literally…through their fantastically large size in an art sculpture installation. Artists Jana Cruder and Matthew LaPenta put up their sculptures of a plastic bottle and a platic cup with cap and straw in Pershing Square, a park with office towers around it.  Their motivations were different, but the results they were seeking were the same: raise awareness about plastics and their collective impacts.

This article discusses people’s apathy towards litter, awareness of the connections between cancer and plastics, and trash they observed national parks. Their goal is to change people’s behavior and relationship with plastics. How has your view on plastics changed over time?


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