As useful as plastics are, they have always been a pain to handle. They don’t decompose, and the enormous volume of plastic being dumped in the ocean is a serious matter of concern. Every 60 seconds, the equivalent of a truckload of plastic enters the ocean. In order to create awareness around the issue, photographer Benjamin Von Wong took up an ambitious project:
With the help of volunteers, Von Wong and his team were able to “dump” plastic into the ocean in a controlled manner. They transformed a pristine piece of nature into a symbol of environmental tragedy.
“Statistics alone are hard to visualize so we decided to show it instead.”
First, they had to find a way to keep all the plastic from floating away. This proved challenging, but the crew scavenged for old fishing line and nets to create a containment system.
Next, they sought volunteers to assemble and manage the huge amount of plastic—and to help reel it back in.
They gathered and displayed a truckload of plastic and worked together to create a visual representation of this environmental crisis.
“We began this project with the goal of raising more awareness. But after an entire week of struggling to keep up with the endless flow of plastics that were being donated to us, my counterpart Katarina and I realized that the problem wasn’t awareness. The problem was that there is just too much plastic, and regardless of how much effort and hard work we put into collecting, recycling, and reusing, it would never be enough unless we stopped producing so much of it in the first place.”
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