Eco

Canadian artist uses 10,000 plastic bottles and a mermaid to create stunning images

Not to be a party pooper, but it’s a fact that us joyous humans are rapidly destroying our own planet.

Renowned photographer Benjamin Von Wong has created an awesome photoshoot that sheds light on the absurd dimensions of the giant mess we’re making, one plastic bottle at a time.

According to a 2016 report by the World Economic Forum, around 8 million tons of plastic are dumped in the ocean every year. That’s almost like tossing a whole garbage truck into the ocean every minute. Yep, EVERY MINUTE.

To make matters even worse, plastic is one of the most environmentally harmful materials there is, hanging around for decades and even centuries before it biodegrades.

Back in 2007, Fast Company published an extensive article that revealed that the average American consumes 167 bottles per year, which amounts to 10,000 bottles per person by the age of 60. That’s a whole lot of garbage.

To put that number into perspective, Von Wong came up with a photoshoot that involved a mermaid drowning in exactly 10,000 plastic bottles. To pull it off, he borrowed the ridiculous amount of bottles from waste management centre Tomra.

Dozens of volunteers from his social media sites helped him clean and uncap each and every one of these, classifying them by color. Additionally, a friend of his offered him a warehouse for a week so he could bring his singular vision to reality.

Professional make-up artists Tamsen Rae and Jean-Michel Cholette provided the final touches to turn their gorgeous model Clara Cloutier into the iridescent mermaid trapped in waste.

Von Wong told The Huffington Post “I really wanted people to realize that within their lifetime, they would be personally responsible for generating 10,000 plastic bottles of waste,” he added, “I wanted them to feel like they could make a personal difference … to talk to their close friends and family about it.”

And yes, we can all make a difference. With simple actions like choosing non-synthetic fabrics, avoiding products with microplastics – like those sparkly deodorants – and supporting plastic bag bans in supermarkets.

The whole project has amassed so far more than 30 million views on YouTube and has earned shoutouts from The Huffington Post, Petapixel, the Daily Mail, and of course, us!

Additionally, Wong’s made a petition at Change.org asking people to minimise their everyday plastic use, and that campaign so far has more than 14,000 signatures.

This photoshoot comes amidst a highly polarized political climate where Trump is pushing to ditch the Paris agreement while other industrial powers are pulling the complete opposite way, like France halting new oil and natural gas exploration licenses and China building their revolutionary Forest City.