Have you had a chance to stroll through our new plastics gallery in the Open Sea wing? It includes spectacular art installations and photo collages from artists all over the world, created from everyday plastic.

Enjoy the art—and learn what you can do to reduce plastic use

The show includes work from Chris Jordan (PopTech 2009), whose work explores contemporary mass culture from a variety of photographic and conceptual perspectives, connecting the viewer viscerally to the enormity and power of humanity’s collective will.

In one of the most emotional presentations at PopTech 2009, Jordan shares heart-wrenching images of birds killed by ingesting plastics that increasingly pollute our oceans.


“Junk Food” by Option-G

You are what you eat, they say.

Ecomaterials Lab: Creating plastics from chicken feathers

Ecomaterials Lab participant and textile chemical engineer Yiqi Yang of theUniversity of Nebraska recently presented a study to the American Chemical Society that described the creation of a new type of plastic polymer comprised of over 50% discarded chicken feather fibers.

This breakthrough has the potential to dramatically reduce the amount of petroleum used in the creation of widely-used plastics such as polyethyleneand polypropylene. And the process takes advantage of a ready source of waste as the U.S. produces 2-4 billion pounds of feathers per year.

Read more… 

Thrown to the Wind

Thrown to the Wind is a 36-foot tall tornado of plastic garbage by Wang Zhiyuan (via startmeup


After 4 years spent planning and building, and 130 days crossing the Pacific the Plastiki has become an icon of sustainable design and an advocate for plastic free oceans. But after all that, what’s next?

Well our original idea to upcycle the vessel have been thrown out of the water for the time being as we plan to continue using the Plastiki as a vessel for change and to carry on inspiring people to rethink their approaches to waste.

So with this in mind we have set about planning the next steps for this one of a kind boat, which will begin with the Plastiki Global Ocean Exhibit. This is a hugely exciting project that will be constructed with 18 reclaimed shipping containers and will house not only the Plastiki itself but also a gallery, innovation centre and studio, a school workshop and laboratory, digital centre, and cafe. In true Plastiki style it will also run from renewables featuring some cool solar array fixtures on the terrace roof.


The Majestic Plastic Bag- A Mockumentary by Heal the Bay, narrated by a straight-faced, fully emoting Jeremy Irons, tracks the tenacious migration of a plastic bag from a grocery store parking lot to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Inspired, obviously, by Ramin Bahrani’s Plastic Bag, narrated by the great Werner Herzog. 

You can help them stop the 19 billion bag-a—year habit in California by supporting the AB 1998 at HealtheBay/BagBill.

On a sober note, Chris Jordan shared with us heart-wrenching images of birds killed by the protagonist (and relatives) of this film, the plastic bag.

We’ve been watching the Plastiki’s progress, and we’re glad to see the boat and crew make it safely to Sydney.

ABC News: Trash Boat: ‘Plastiki’ Ship Made of Recycled Bottles Completes Voyage Across Pacific Ocean

Chris Jordan showed us the undeniably horrific visuals of how tens of thousands of albatross chicks die on Midway from starvation, toxicity, and choking on plastic.

But how worried should we be about everyday chemicals? We’re not ingesting harmful amounts of body clogging substances, right? Or are we? In this week’s New Yorker, Jerome Groopman takes an in-depth look at Bisophenal A, the chemical found in everything from baby to Nalgene bottles.

The Plastiki, a 60 foot catamaran made out of 12,500 reclaimed plastic bottles has just landed on Easter Island, completing the first leg of their voyage.

An ‘off‐the‐grid’ vessel relying primarily on renewable energy systems, the Plastiki and her crew will journey more than 11,000 nautical miles drawing attention to the health of our oceans, in particular the colossal amounts of plastic debris, by showcasing waste as a resource and demonstrating real world solutions through the design and construction of the Plastiki.