Last year my PLASTIC SURF series got some global exposure and with the images going viral through social media to help bring awareness to the issue of plastic pollution in our oceans.
One of the greatest rewards from this series going viral for me personally was the introduction to all the amazing organizations, relief groups and individuals from all four corners of the world who share in their concern and are trying to make a difference. This month (June 2018) Nation Geographic (@natgeo) showcased the plastic problem with the great artwork of Jorge Gamboa on its cover and made commitments to personally have the magazine take steps in reducing its plastic footprint on the world. The future lies in all of working together to help clean up what’s already been deposited and making sure we don’t add to the problem.
In an effort of working together to create positive change, I teamed up with an amazing artist @xicogaivota who creates unbelievable sculptures from collected plastics he picks up on the coastal beaches of Portugal.
Our goal was to continue to bring awareness to this vastly growing issue by illustrating the sculpture creations in a series of visual narratives that would bring @xicogaivota remarkable creations to life in a series titled, CATCH & RECYCLE.
Each fish has been created though found plastic debris along the coast of Portugal. The sculpture creations of the fish in real life measure 112cm x 60cm (4 ft by 2 ft). Items used to create the fish have not been modified or altered but have been used just as they were found.
The attention to detail and the items used to create these fish amazed me the first time I saw them and I was honored when my invitation to collaborate together was accepted.
By 2025 there will be a 3 to 1 ratio of fish to plastic. By 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.
From afar most beaches look serene and beautiful as the sun sets, but take a closer look and you’ll discover that things are not always what they seem. Plastics left on beaches or discarded in our oceans, threaten marine life as well as our own, with traces of plastics being found in the foods we eat.
FACTS ABOUT OCEAN PLASTIC
- About 8 million metric tons of plastic are thrown into the ocean annually. Of those, 236,000 tons are microplastics – tiny pieces of broken-down plastic smaller than your little fingernail.
- There are five massive patches of plastic in the oceans around the world. These huge concentrations of plastic debris cover large swaths of the ocean; the one between California and Hawaii is the size of the state of Texas.
- Many marine organisms can’t distinguish common plastic items from food. Animals who eat plastic often starve because they can’t digest the plastic and it fills their stomachs, preventing them from eating real food.
- Many fish humans consume, including brown trout, cisco, and perch, have at one time or another, ingested plastic microfibers.
- In the Los Angeles area alone, 10 metric tons of plastic fragments—like grocery bags, straws and soda bottles—are carried into the Pacific Ocean every day.
- Over the last ten years we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century.
- 50 percent of the plastic we use, we use just once and throw away.
- It takes 500-1,000 years for plastic to degrade.
- One million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed annually from plastic in our oceans.
- Plastic chemicals can be absorbed by the body—93 percent of Americans age six or older test positive for BPA (a plastic chemical).
Earth Day Network – https://www.earthday.org/2018/04/05/fact-sheet-plastics-in-the-ocean/
EcoWatch – https://www.ecowatch.com/22-facts-about-plastic-pollution-and-10-things-we-can-do-about-it-1881885971.html
National Geographic – https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/05/plastics-facts-infographics-ocean-pollution/
Plastic Oceans – http://plasticoceans.uk/the-facts
Surfers Against Sewage – https://www.sas.org.uk/our-work/plastic-pollution/plastic-pollution-facts-figures/
Coastal Care – http://plastic-pollution.org