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High-profile artists unite to fight plastic pollution

3 minute read

Scientists aren't the only ones concerned about the environmental impact of our current plastic habits. Artists from across the globe are using their creativity to highlight the problem of plastic pollution in a nationwide outdoor exhibition.

Curated by Tia Grazette, founder of www.legoodsociety.com, the Let's Live with Less Plastic is about using the power of art to incite change.

The exhibition was launched in aid of Plastic Free July and in conjunction with the Marine Conservation Society's Plastic Challenge, which helps people to make small changes to their buying habits in order to reduce their plastic consumption.

Creative director and environment advocate Tia Grazette explained: "Plastic pollution is one of the greatest threats facing our planet. It is in the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink and clothes we wear — killing wildlife and polluting the oceans.

"We need to take collective action to stop this now. And what better way to encourage and remind everyone to use less plastic than through a nationwide outdoor art exhibit for plastic free July.

"The art is unexpected, catches your eye and is a powerful way to communicate a message, so critical to life on earth."

The art is unexpected, catches your eye and is a powerful way to communicate a message, so critical to life on earth

Tia Grazette, founder of Le Good Society
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Let's Live with Less Plastic exhibition at Canary Wharf, London

Credit: N Balkova

International artists joined forces to highlight the plastic pandemic

Now in its second year, the exhibition features an impressive line up of established and emerging international artists including London-born street artists Ben Eine, actress and environmentalist Ellise Chappell, visual artist and singer/songwriter Isabel Getty and contemporary American artists Todd Francis and Jeff Gillette.

Each of the works reflects the need for society and people to change by living with less plastic.

Artist was displayed to millions of people over the course of the exhibition - in major cities in England and Scotland.

Throughout July, the images were displayed on digital billboards in Birmingham, Manchester, London, Glasgow and Edinburgh where they were seen by hundreds of thousands of people every day.

The original art works and prints are also available to buy online at www.legoodsociety.com, including the Seawatercolour-insult bottles series by Paul Davis. Created using seawater, ink and watercolour, Davis paints a variety of widely used water bottles, adding insults to raise awareness around the urgency with which the world's plastic addiction needs to be broken.

We produce millions of tons of plastic waste each year

The artists were inspired to take action against the shocking increase of single-use plastic. Collectively we produce 300 million tonnes of plastic waste every year – almost the weight of the entire human population. The pandemic has contributed to this dramatic rise with 129 billion face masks and 65 billion gloves used globally every month. That’s 3 million masks a minute, with many littering the streets and polluting our rivers and oceans, destroying our marine wildlife.

Actress and environmentalist Ellise Chappell said: "I’m so happy to contribute a painting for #plasticfreejuly, which focuses specifically on the issue of plastic food packaging and the power we hold as consumers.

"When plastic is used for food packaging, it becomes an undervalued, disposable material; one that is used and thrown away sometimes within minutes.

"And yet, plastic lasts forever, slowly breaking down into toxic microplastics that permeate our ecosystems. With my painting, I hope to highlight this mismatch, whilst appealing to our immense capacity for empathy. Free the fruit!"

‘I’m so happy to contribute a painting for #plasticfreejuly, which focuses specifically on the issue of plastic food packaging and the power we hold as consumers

Actress Ellise Chappell

We must all do our bit

MP Rebecca Pow, Environment Minister agreed: "We must all do our bit to turn the tide on plastic. It is so positive to see so many talented artists harnessing their creativity to raise awareness of the need to prevent plastic pollution from harming our beautiful oceans and natural environment.

"But we know there is more to do, which is why we will introduce a world-leading plastic packaging tax, create a deposit return scheme for drinks containers and make producers more responsible for their packaging waste."

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