Marine plastic art

Very little of the waste we retrieve from our beaches can be recycled. Most of it is in the form of broken, unrecognisable fragments, and even the occasional intact bottles we find are often contaminated with sand or weed and so cannot be recycled.

It seemed a great shame to send so much plastic off to sit in a landfill site for 1,000 years – especially when we thought it could be put to much better use as a public awareness-raising tool.

Luckily, we live in an area with a large number of talented local artists, many of whom have been happy to donate their time to create incredible pieces of work – ranging from small, delicate pieces to huge sculptures – in an effort to reach and educate people who may otherwise never learn about this issue.

RPBC’s most dedicated and prolific artist is Liz Franklin, who has worked on her kitchen table and in her garden to produce some amazing work conveying the beauty and fragility of the life being destroyed by our love affair with disposable plastic. Liz’s own website, showing many of these works, can be found here.

While plastic is deadly in the marine environment, it’s an amazingly varied and versatile artistic resource, as you can see from the pictures in this section. 

The online TV channel SW1TV featured some of the work we had created in a documentary focusing on artists who seek their inspiration in the sea. You can watch it here. (You have to scroll through the episodes until you find ‘Coastlines’. The 11-minute feature on RPBC starts at 15:30”)

Thanks to donations from Brewin Dolphin, Maker with Rame Parish Council and the Tregonhawke Cliff and Chalet Owners Association (TCCOA), we have been able to buy a shipping container to store anything that is strange, unusual or that seems as though it could be useful in making art, after being carefully cleaned and sorted. We have kindly been given a rent-free site to keep the container at the Multihull Centre boatyard in Millbrook.

Why don’t you have a go at creating some marine plastic art of your own?
You’ll be having fun while also helping to clean our beaches and spreading the word to others!