Cambridge Ladybirds WI have been busy. We decided to use a little bit of Craftivism to create Plastic Reef. An art installation designed to highlight the issue of micro plastic pollution in the ocean.
Where: Oxfam, 20 Burleigh Street, Cambridge, CB1 1DG
When: 7th-27th June 2018
In 2017 the National Federation of Women’s Institutes passed a resolution to ‘End Plastic Soup’ and keep microplastic fibres out of our oceans. Microplastic fibres are shed from synthetic clothing with every wash and are the main contributors to microplastic contamination of the oceans. Microplastics are also formed when larger pieces of plastic break down into smaller pieces. These plastics pollute the sea and damage wildlife, and can enter the human food chain.
Cambridge Ladybirds WI, led by members Sophie Collins, Ruth Turner and Karina Quigley, crafted The Plastic Reef which can be seen at Oxfam, Burleigh St, Cambridge as part of the CirculART Trail from the 7th-27th June. The installation features a washing machine with a line full of synthetic clothes which shed their micro plastic fibres onto a bright and colourful ocean reef. Coral made from tights, food packaging, straws and plastic bags is home to a shoal of plastic bottle fish swimming along side Ollie the Octopus and Shardie the Sea Turtle, whose shell is made entirely of plastic shards in the process of breaking down into microplastics.
Sophie, who collected many of the plastics used directly from beaches around Europe, said “It’s overwhelming how much plastic washes up on our beautiful beaches, and to think that for every piece we see on the beach, there are many more micro plastics in the ocean is just shocking” Cambridge Ladybirds WI hope that the installation will encourage locals to reduce the amount of synthetic clothing they wear and wash and to say no to single use plastics, so that our oceans have a better future.
The Plastic Reef can be seen at Oxfam, Burleigh St, Cambridge as part of the CirculART Trail which runs from the 7th-27th June.
For more information about the Art Trail see: http://circularcambridge.org/circulart/
And for more information of the NFWI Campaign to keep micro plastics out of the oceans see: https://www.thewi.org.uk/campaigns/current-campaigns-and-initiatives/end-plastic-soup