Māori artist raises awareness of plastic pollution by showing what oceans will look like in 100 years
New Zealand artist George Nuku has created an installation showing how the world’s oceans will look 100 years from now, when plastic has completely transformed marine life.
Nuku’s project is called Bottled Ocean 2122 and is exhibited in the Theseus Temple in Austria. The plastic project runs along with the rest of his exhibition, oceans. collections. reflectionsat the Weltmuseum in Vienna until October 9th.
For the past three months, Nuku has engaged 170 volunteers to help pack the Bottled Ocean 2122 box to raise awareness of plastic pollution and its impact on the ocean and marine life. The Māori artist’s work shows how the underwater world will be filled with plastic bottles and styrofoam if we don’t work on a sustainable future as soon as possible.
Nuku is a member of the New Zealand Māori Ngati Kahungunu and Tuwharetoa and moved to England in 2005. He had his first solo exhibition at the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum in Middlesborough, England.
Nuku wants its visitors to see the plastic not as garbage, but as a valuable, beautiful and sacred material. Bottled Ocean 2122 features an underwater temple with Māori deities representing air, earth, fire, wind and sea. Plastic animals such as jellyfish, stingrays and sharks swim around the plastic coral reefs.
In a statement, Nuku said his project will take place in 100 years, when “sea life turns into mutant plastic species. Marine debris and anemones are made out of brightly colored plastic bottle caps.”
Nuku said: “Through my Māori heritage, I am trying to reshape our relationship with our environment. Ultimately, pollution itself is sacred, like everything in our world.”
“Plastic bottles representing light and water, the source of life itself, are a treasure and a testament to divinity. It is not too late to change our relationship with our environment and move closer to the plastic that permeates every aspect of our lives today.”
We produce worldwide 300 million tons plastic per year, 78 percent of which is NOT recovered or recycled. Around 8.8 million tons of plastic are thrown into the oceans every year! 700 sea creatures are in danger of extinction as plastic threatens them in the form of tangling, pollution and choking. 50 percent of sea turtles have plastic in their stomachs. by 2050, 99 percent of all seabird species have ingested plastic waste. according to a World Economic Forum studyby 2025 there will be one ton of plastic for every three tons of fish, and if everything continues as it is, there will be more plastic in the sea than fish by 2050.
Read more about how companies like Facebook, Tupperware, Google, Dove, Budweiser, Carlsbergand FIJI water working to reduce plastic pollution. Places around the world like Tel Aviv, California, Baltimore, Scotland, and many more are banning various single-use plastics, and others are coming along creative ways to recycle and use plastic waste.
There are products you may use or habits you may have that contribute to plastic pollution. Learn more about using Teabag, cotton swab, laundry, contact lenses, sparkleand sheet masks polluting our oceans so you can make more informed decisions in the future. There are also numerous simple actions and Switch This can help eliminate plastic from our lives, including making your own cosmetics, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, household cleanersuse mason jars, reusable bags/bottles/strawsand avoid microbeads! Sign this petition Demanding an end to the single-use plastics that are killing whales and damaging our oceans!
To learn more about the impact of plastic waste, please read the following articles:
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