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Avoiding the Gyre – Painting with Bottlecaps

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Avoiding the Gyre is a Roanoke College collaboration to remove some plastic from the waste pile, and to bring awareness to the harm caused by humankind’s disregard for nature and the environment. By ‘painting’ endangered species and everyday objects in plastic, we hope to challenge viewers’ perspectives on what is valuable.

During the 1960s and 1970s, plastics replaced traditional materials such as glass jars and paper wrappings because plastic is inexpensive, colorful, and conformed to nearly every shape and use desired. Unfortunately, plastics and their manufacture spread toxins in the natural environment. Humankind produces about 400 million tons of plastic waste each year. Much of this was intended to be recycled, but recent revelations have exposed the failure of industry and society to recycle. Fourteen million tons of plastic ends up in the ocean every year, much of it in the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which covers an area twice the size of Texas. Marine species are placed at risk by the plastic waste through ingestion, poisoning, entanglement, and replacement. By 2050, it is estimated that plastic will outweigh all the fish in the sea.

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Avoiding the Gyre – Painting with Bottlecaps
  • 240 High Street
  • Salem, VA 24153
  • to
  • Olin Hall Galleries at Roanoke College
  • Free