Whale Tail 

Sculpture created from household waste, chicken wire and trash collected from the beach.
Dimensions: About 1,25m high x 1.2m wide x 40cm deep.

Collaboration with WESSA Eden (as initiator of the project), Knysna Basin Project (beach cleanup) and Pierre Bezuidenhout (structural assistance)

Aim: to create awareness about ocean pollution and the impact it has on marine animals.

If current pollution rates continue, there will be more plastic in the sea than fish by 2050, according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Eight million tonnes of plastic – bottles, packaging and other waste – are dumped into the ocean every year, killing marine life and entering the human food chain. Already it’s been estimated by researchers that virtually all shellfish, and one-quarter of all fish, contain traces of plastic. Plastic and other human-source waste can inflict serious damage on marine reptiles, fish and mammals – amputating limbs, choking them and restricting their movements. Even sea birds are affected – marine animals and birds mistake plastic bags, lids, food packaging and other debris as food, which then clogs up their digestive tract, and eventually causes them to starve to death.

Infographic from NOAA depicting the various ways plastics end up in the ocean and form clusters of dangerous marine debris.

Though many attempts have been made to clean up our planet and recycle materials, Tisha Brown from Greenpeace says this is not enough. “Recycling should always be a third choice when dealing with waste, after reducing and reusing, and those two superior options need to be prioritized,” She also states that “ditching single-use disposable items in favour of durable, reusable alternatives,” should be the main focus of consumers and producers of plastics alike. (source: WhoWhatWhy)

Find out more at www.5gyres.org, theoceancleanup.com and this article on iDiveblue

If you live on the coast, get involved with beach cleanups or just take a bag and pick up some trash on your walks. No matter where you are, reduce your use of single-use items (food packaging, straws, coffee cups, coffee pods, utensils, shopping bags, etc.) and reuse as much as you can. Rethink, buy durable multi-use items, use reusable coffee cups, use cloth bags and baskets for shopping, and if you’re woman use a mentrual cup, menstrual sponges or washable pads. Check out trashisfortossers.com to see how possible it is to live without creating trash! And snorkelsandfins.com/plastics-ocean-what-should-we-do to read more about how you can make better choices daily. Sign petitions to ban plastic bags (many countries have already put this policy in place!), talk to other people about the problem, learn more about the problem by following the above links and doing your own research…

We can all make a difference in our own special way!