My mom sent me this photo of an art installation on Las Olas Beach in south Florida. It's a pair of giant fish sculpted using hundreds of empty plastic bottles!
The sculpture uses hundreds of empty water bottles and makes a strong statement about consumerism, waste, and single use plastic. The city installed the piece in late November as part of Fort Lauderdale's "Light Up the Beach" event, and the sculpture will be up until February 2013.
The fish light up from the inside, and they stand 35 feet wide by 15 feet high.
I grew up in south Florida, and I can tell you first hand that the beaches there have a huge problem with plastic litter. Just last year, Miami banned plastic straws in to-go drinks from hotels to try tackling some of the plastic waste that litters south Florida's beaches, and plastic water bottles are another huge problem. Locals and tourists alike tote disposable plastic bottles to stay hydrated in the hot summers, and often these bottles get left behind when they go.
From the beach, it's a quick trip for those bottles to end up in the ocean, where they eventually join one of the plastic gyres: dead zones in the ocean where plastic pollution makes the waters too toxic to support marine life.
Hopefully, the larger-than-life fish sculptures will strike folks as more than a curiosity. The hundreds of used plastic bottles represent the waste that litters south Florida's beaches and the world's oceans. Maybe it will move some people to start bringing a reusable bottle or - at the very least - recycling those single-use plastic bottles.
Image Credits: Pam Levine; Light Up Fort Lauderdale