We have grown so accustomed to plastic pollution that we hardly notice it anymore. Bottles, cups, and straws blend into the ground like part of the scenery, and we often pass them by without stopping to pick them up.
Two artists named Jana Cruder and Matthew LaPenta have created an art installation called “Natural Plasticity,” with which they hope to wake the general public out of its apathetic state and start noticing the waste all around. The name is meant to draw attention to how very unnatural plastic is, while referencing “neural plasticity” – the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections. Their hope is that people’s habits will change after viewing “Natural Plasticity.”
The installation consists of two giant, inflatable objects made from post-consumer recycled plastic. There is a water bottle and a Starbucks-like drink cup with a green straw; they measure between 20 and 30 feet in length and are roughly the size of a bus. When one of these appears in a park or on a beach, it’s impossible not to notice!
The artists say that the installation brings the impact of consumer and corporate behavior regarding single-use-plastics into clear sight. “Beckoning the viewer to evaluate their own behavior with plastic consumption,” they write. “In order to change what is manufactured and marketed we must first change the individual... We’re asking for disposables to be re-examined, for reusable [sic] to be accepted and encouraged in the market place and for corporations to innovate and help change the plastic landscape."
The giant pieces of litter are currently in the Los Angeles area. They started in the city’s downtown core and have been following the path of discarded plastic, eventually making their way to the ocean.