Friday, June 22, 2012

Fishing for plastic

If you were to be wandering around the Botafogo Beach in Rio around now, don't be surprised to see two giant fish rearing out of the sand and seemingly aiming for the sky.Glittering with the reflection of the sun's rays or if it's a little later in the evening, glowing a warm blue and red (thanks to little LED lights), juxtaposed against the scenic backdrop of Rio's mountains, they might look like something your beauty-drunk brain made up on its own. But they're real, alright. Well, not real fish but real enough otherwise. 

Image by Ascom Riotur
Made out of plastic bottles, these gorgeous fish are not only a spectacular tourist attraction for the duration of the  United Nations Conference of Sustainable Development or the Rio +20. They are also intended to remind us, not least of all, thanks to their sheer size, of the threat of over-consumption of plastic bottles to the planet. Each day human beings around the world use millions of these disposable plastic bottles that are ironically, not disposed of correctly, ending up at land fills instead of being recycled. Unsurprisingly our rivers and oceans are also victims of this over-consumption, directly affecting the marine life which is choking under all this plastic. 

The giant sculptures are meant to impress people, in many ways, of the the threat plastic and our careless attitudes towards its use pose to the ecosystem, and more specifically to marine life. And the bottles used for this are barely an infinitesimal portion of the real problem facing us. 



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