Maori artist raises awareness of plastic pollution by showing what the oceans will look like in 100 years
New Zealand artist George Nuku has created an installation that shows what the world’s oceans will look like in 100 years, when plastic has completely changed marine life.
Nuku’s project is called Ocean in a bottle 2122 and is on display at the Temple of Theseus in Austria. The plastic project is running with the rest of his exhibition, Oceans. Collections. reflectionsat the Weltmuseum in Vienna until October 9.
Over the past three months, Nuku has loaded 170 volunteers helping out at the Bottled Ocean 2122 crate to raise awareness about plastic pollution and how it affects the ocean and marine life. The Maori artist’s work shows how the underwater world will be filled with plastic bottles and polystyrene if we don’t work towards a sustainable future as soon as possible.
Nuku is a member of the Māori Ngati Kahungunu and Tuwharetoa peoples of New Zealand, and he moved to England in 2005. He had his first solo exhibition at the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum in Middlesborough, England.
Nuku wants his visitor to see plastic not as waste but rather as precious, beautiful and sacred materials. Bottled Ocean 2122 shows an underwater temple with Maori deities who represent air, earth, fire, wind and sea. Plastic animals like jellyfish, stingrays and sharks swim around the coral reefs in plastic.
In a statement, Nuku said his project will take place 100 years from now when “marine life transforms into plastic mutant species. Marine debris and anemones are made of colorful plastic bottle caps.
Nuku said: “Through my Maori heritage, I seek to reshape our relationship with our environment. Ultimately, pollution itself is sacred, like everything in our world.
“Plastic bottles, representing light and water, the very source of life, are a treasure and a testimony of divinity. It’s not too late to change our relationship with our environment and get closer to the plastic that permeates every aspect of our lives today.
Overall we produce 300 million tons of plastic each year, 78 percent of which is NOT recovered or recycled. Around 8.8 million tonnes of plastic are thrown into the oceans every year! 700 marine animals are threatened with extinction due to the threat posed by plastic in the form of entanglement, pollution and ingestion. 50 percent sea turtles have plastic in their stomachs. By 2050, 99 percent of all seabird species will have ingested plastic waste. According to a World Economic Forum studythere will be one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish by 2025, and if business as usual there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050.
Learn more about how companies love Facebook, Tupperware, Google, Dove, Budweiser, Carlsbergand FIJI Water are working to reduce plastic pollution. places around the world like Tel Aviv, California, Baltimore, Scotland, and many others ban various single-use plastics, and others offer creative ways to recycle and use plastic waste.
Some products you use or your habits can contribute to plastic pollution. Learn more about using tea bags, Q-tips, Laundry, Contact lenses, Shineand Sheet masks pollute our oceans so you can make more informed decisions in the future. There are also many simple gestures and switches that can help eliminate plastic from our lives, including making your own beauty products, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, household cleanersusing jars, reusable bags/bottles/strawsand avoiding microbeads! Sign this petition to demand an end to single-use plastics killing whales and damaging our oceans!
To learn more about the impact of plastic waste, please read the articles below:
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