Beneath the surface of our throw-away culture lies a world of untapped potential and 10 extraordinary artists are bringing it to light.
These creative minds have set their sights on discarded plastic, sourced mainly from beaches, and are fashioning it into practical items like tables and vases, as well as captivating artistic creations.
The artists and designers you will read about in this blog post are using visual expression as form of activism; they are redefining sustainability, reminding us that art has the power to turn the tide on plastic pollution.
Mandy Barker is an international award-winning photographic artist whose work involving marine plastic debris for more than 13 years, has received global recognition. Working with scientists she aims to raise awareness about plastic pollution in the world's oceans, highlighting the harmful effect on marine life, climate change and ultimately ourselves - leading the viewer to take action.
Rodrigo Butori is the creative mind behind Plastic Fisherman: a global movement mastering social media to stimulate, through art, awareness regarding ocean pollution. Taking part in the movement is very simple: every time you go to the beach and find trash in the sand, pick it up and get to work reconstructing the image of a fish. Once the artwork is ready, take a photo and upload it to your Instagram, tagging @plasticfisherman and using the official hashtag #plasticfisherman!
Laura Frocois - Plastikophobia
Plastikophobia is the phobia of plastics. The Canadian artist Von Wong and impact designer Laura Francois gave life to an immersive and interactive installation made from thousands of plastic cups recovered from local food stalls in Singapore to evoke the feeling of Plastikophobia.
Her motto is “Nature Never Wastes. That's Why I reuse!”. Artist, educator and advocate, Calder Kamin transforms trash into beautifully crafted art installations inspiring others to be creative and courageous about the future.
Hannah creates art for a less trashy earth! One of our favorite pieces of hers is this mirror: after thrifting it from Facebook Marketplace and creating a wood frame out of scrap wood, Hannah created a mosaic out of beach found plastic waste.
Dirk van der Kooij
Dirk van der Kooij is a designer giving life to his pieces starting from discarded plastic like the internal pieces of fridges with manufacturing defects, preventing them from polluting the seas.
Ocean Terrazzo, Brodie Neill
Designer Brodie Neill has worked with recycled ocean plastic to produce new furniture pieces, and used them to create a waterfall installation in a London hotel. Neill started the project by developing a material he calls "ocean terrazzo". This is made in the same way as regular terrazzo, but instead of using chips of marble or granite, Neill set hundreds of tiny pieces of plastic into a resin surface.
Max Liboiron - Sea Globes
The most realistic sea globes you will see around, and probably also the most concerning. In his globes, Max Liboiron accurately represented the waterfront environment in New York City today. The plastics came from the Hudson River in south Brooklyn, and the rocks are made of bituminous coal from a Brooklyn landfill.
Would you ever thought that plastic finds could make a vase this beautiful? Alex Stikeleather is an Trash Crafter collecting trash to transform it in fun and colorful interior decor pieces.
Worldwide known artist and designer from Crema, Italy. Emanuela creates unique home decor pieces like tables or closets out of scrap materials: memorabilia, plastic soldiers or snack surprises.