Photo: Žiga Šmidovnik.
Its tentacles snake through the streets of Ljubljana, paralleling the river as it runs past the city's charming Baroque buildings, growing with every careless action of local residents, whose discards have created the creature within their midst: The Plastic Bag Monster.Working with the environmental group Ekologi Brez Meja (Ecologists Without Borders), which had previously organized clean-up days in the area, Slovenian artist The Miha Artnak collected 40,000 used plastic bags and 7,500 used plastic cups from three dozen schools, a handful of city offices, and more than 500 individuals. He and some assistants spent a week building the Plastic Bag Monster, whose jagged teeth and bulbous, bloodshot eyes are made of plastic cups and whose plastic-bag tentacles reach for more than 100 meters.
'It Feeds On Individuals' Sloth And Irresponsibility'
"Plastic Bag Monster ... spreads its plastic tentacles through the streets of Ljubljana. It symbolizes the spreading of the consumerism and waste segregation," Artnak wrote in an email to TreeHugger about the project. "The monster itself has adjusted to the environment and therefore survived. It is supplanting us from the food chain. It just might succeed and it's all up to us. It is reproducing with inconceivable speed and knows no mercy. It feeds on individuals' sloth and irresponsibility."
Image: The Miha Artnak.
Even if they manage to escape Plastic Bag Monster, people in Ljubljana might run into BagFoot, a mummy-like figure wrapped in plastic bags that makes forays out of its woodland home into the city's supermarkets. It was created by design studio Lukatarina to help raise awareness about plastic-bag waste in Slovenia, which Artnak said totals about 130 to 150 bags per person annually.
"After the action, some major changes are about to occur. It has become a popular topic in the media," Artnak wrote. It seems BagFoot and Plastic Bag Monster have helped scare some wasteful consumers straight.
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