Artist Tan Zi Xi created this art installation creating a “plastic ocean” in which people can experience life below the Pacific Garbage Patch. Plastic Ocean is installed in an art gallery in Singapore. This piece by her was made up of over 20,000 pieces of plastic which she gathered from recycling and beach clean-ups. She states, “Through my art, I hope to increase awareness about the dire situation our oceans are in and also improve more people to evaluate their personal plastic waste generation and disposable habits. Plastics are non-biodegradable and will remain on Earth for a very long time. Plastic Ocean will appeal to the morality of the public and shed light on how the culture of convenience is unsustainable” Through this piece the artist is hoping to bring awareness to us who have an out-of-sight-out-of-mind mindset on how our own plastic footprint is affecting our earth.
This art installation named Plastikophobia was made by artists Von Wong and Joshua Goh. This installation stands in the Sustainable Singapore Gallary and was made up of 18,000 plastic cups collected from local food centers across Singapore to raise awareness for single-use plastic pollution. This art piece took almost a hundred volunteers and ten days to bring this project to life. This project not only does bring reality to the forefront about how much single-use plastics are used and wasted but how this plastic affects day-to-day activities people enjoy. They decided to photograph this piece as if it was a diver in the ocean, who is now consumed in this pool of plastic. The name “Plastikophobia” comes from the fear of plastic. I think this name is really fitting for this piece. The fear that plastic will one day consume our ocean and activities we enjoy doing.
Both of these art installations are not only pleasing to the eye but bring awareness to the people looking at them. I would love to one day be able to see these art installations for myself and learn more about the artists who chose we use these materials rather than basic art materials. I think art with a deep meaning that is able to speak to everyone in this world is a really cool concept. All of us are in the midsts of this environmental crisis and art is a good way to express and educate
The life cycle of plastic products is rarely talked about, or even shown by the product manufacturer. We have begun to rely on our own research to see where our own products come from and eventually end up. In the shower, I began thinking of which product I could track the life cycle of. I happen to also run out of shampoo and threw the bottle in the trash. Basically, I am going to be tracking the life cycle of this shampoo bottle.
The beginning of its story starts by acquiring the raw materials that are needed to make a shampoo bottle. The type of plastic that makes up shampoo bottles is low-density Polyethylene, a heavy, durable, and sometimes recyclable plastic. In order to make this polyethylene, plastic goes through a manufacturing process which is made up of a range of organic polymers including polyethylene and ethylene, thus making a low-density polyethylene for a home for our shampoo. The bottle itself is made of small beads of plastic that get melted down into a mold that forms the shape of our bottle as it cools down. a 500ml shampoo bottle costs about 2 cents to make and 2.5 cents for a 1-liter bottle.
The bottle is then slapped with a sticker and is shipped to a location around the world in order to be sold. The process of shipping from the factory to the store usually takes around 1-2 days. Over 548 million units of shampoo were sold in the United States in one year.
Although these products can be reused, the majority of these bottles get thrown away. From the trash can, it is transported to a trash facility. Here, trash and dirt are removed and the plastic is washed, the plastic is then grounded into small plastic pellets. In a perfect world, these microplastics would be able to be used as new products or packaging. Around 550 million empty shampoo bottles are thrown away each year. However, in reality, a huge amount of these plastic parts end up in a landfill or in the ocean, breaking down our environment one shampoo bottle at a time.
One way to reduce this plastic waste is to make a change from shampoo bottles to shampoo bars. Shampoo bars are similar to your average dove soap bar, however, it is shampoo. It completely gets rid of the wasteful plastic.
We all just went through a major change in our life – possibly one of the most influential changes we will go through. Moving to college. This was a complete lifestyle change, new friends new surroundings new classes, it all can get really overwhelming sometimes. However, we have been here for a few weeks and are beginning to create a schedule and daily routine, which has made this whole change feel a bit better and normal. Now that I am in a routine, I feel that its time to make some smaller changes, to make our earth a bit happier
After having discussed what changes I could make, I stopped throwing away our plastic silverware, now it gets washed. The only tough part of that is sometimes I forget, or catch my roommates throwing it away. However we just started to treat our plastic silverware as normal silverware, there’s no need to throw it away unless it cant be washed. Secondly, I have started using my metal hydro flask for most drinks and stopped buying plastic water bottles out of convenience (also have saved myself some money:)) Something else I changed was I bought a makeup eraser, rather than using the disposable makeup wipes, you just rinse it out after every use and throw it in the washing machine once a week. Something else I have been wanting to try is the shampoo and conditioner bars, rather than bottles of shampoo and conditioner.
They save a lot of plastic and the packaging is biodegradable. However, I have yet to buy them. I did move from a bottle of body wash to just a bar of dove soap, which does the same job and just reduces your plastic footprint! Something else I think would be good is metal reusable Keurig cups. My roommates and I throw away at least 4 cups a day, I think we bought our own coffee blends and got reusable products, we would change that number down to 0 cups thrown away. I honestly have been finding my small changes to be better, I have to go out less to buy these unnecessary plastic products that will just end up in the landfill, hurting our planet.
Some challenges I have faced are keeping up with my new changes and making sure that I can follow through with everything I promised myself. Another challenge is trying to help my roommates out and having them try to stick with what I am doing, which works for the most part because these are changes that don’t have to be difficult!
As a college student, I find that plastic is one of my most used items of the day. From my toothbrush to the packaging of my textbook, I am surrounded by plastic. Listing every item of plastic I touched in a day turned out to be more than a process than I thought. I found myself listing something almost every time I moved. It’s easy as a college student to curate an extensive amount of plastic because it’s just too easy. Trips to the dining hall will add just five more items to the list. Thinks that I didn’t normally think about, my morning routine added about 8 items. I get it, it’s convenient but is it really all necessary?
I think my one day of noting my plastic use doesn’t accurately portray my whole plastic footprint. I think the transition to college completely changed my plastic use. While at home – of course, I had the same morning and night routine, using plastic shampoo bottles and make-up. I was lucky enough to be able to be using silver silverware, while at college, the plastic silverware I use at least 3 times a day normally gets thrown out because I’m too lazy to clean and reuse it. I never could have imagined touching 35 items of plastic in a day, many of which I touched multiple times a day. I was filled with guilt each time I wrote down a new plastic item on my list however I thought back to what Beth Terry thought about guilt. That if I am guilty then it means I genuinely feel bad for my plastic consumption, which I do.
I think that making a change in my plastic footprint honestly would not be impossible. Finding reusable silverware and using that in the dining hall, as well as my own water bottle would take off a lot of items on my list. Even starting by not buying plastic water bottles because I found an overwhelming amount of plastic bottles in my dorm room between me and my 3 other roommates. This is change that would not only make me feel better but will make our planet feel better.