Thames Plastic Art – Phase 2 

Public engagement with waste

How to engage the public and school children on the issue of plastic waste in our waterways in a safe and engaging way? Bring clean (semi) clean plastic waste from the length of the river Thames to the Somerset House terrace. Mix in one very enthusiastic artist, a fantastic team, lots of volunteers, and you have a hugely engaging event.

The containers of sorted and unsorted waste at Somerset House – image courtesy of Thames Plastic

One of the school groups helping sort plastic waste and learn about plastic pollution. Image courtesy of Thames Plastic.

I spent a few hours on Saturday 10th June volunteering; speaking to the public about the project, answering their questions, and encouraging them to spend a few minutes helping to sort the waste. The sorting was into type or colour. The main things artist Maria has been counting from the different clean ups were separated; bottle lids, plastic bottles, plastic cups, lighters, tampon applicators, straws. The rest was sorted by colour. Seeing the boxes of coloured plastic rubbish really drew people in.

Waste sorted by the colour green! Image courtesy of Thames Plastic

In this video I show you the process in action, and how plastic waste sorted by colour actually looks quite attractive. It’s a bit windy!

More about the project

Check out my interview with artist Maria, and more details about the project in this earlier blog post.

What’s next?

We don’t know exactly what the sculpture Maria will create from all this waste will look like. It is expected to be around 15ft high! Then it will be touring to different locations around the city, in conjunction with the Totally Thames Festival. These are being finalised and will be announced soon on the Thames Plastic website, and on my blog.

What can you do?

What item of disposable plastic could you do without, or replace with a reusable? Need some inspiration? Check out some of my previous blog posts;

Coffee cups

Water bottles 


One thought on “Thames Plastic Art – Phase 2 

  1. This sounds like a wonderful and inspiring project. Small steps can make major changes in the long term. Pinned & tweeted. Have a healthy, happy & blessed day. Visiting from #GoingGreenLinky.

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