The Plastic Planet focuses on the climate crisis and its effects on young people. More specifically, it addresses the excess of indulgence in today’s consumer-based culture of convenience. Because of our need for fast, unthinking satisfaction, we lean on plastic. These single-use products, which aren’t always recycled or incinerated, have resulted in a world of toxic pollution. And recently, this dilemma has fallen into the hands of one of the few groups that truly cares: young people. Our generation has been left both alarmed and empowered, with thousands of youth striking for the change that needs to happen.
I was inspired to create The Plastic Planet when while walking on a beach, I saw a crowd of seagulls fighting over a torn plastic bag of chips. After gently tearing away the bag from the birds, I looked around and found small heaps of garbage scattered in the sand. A lot of it was miniscule—tiny enough to be swallowed by wildlife. 12.7 million tons of plastic are dumped into the ocean every year, and according to National Geographic, there are more than 5 trillion pieces of micro and macro plastic floating in the open ocean. Is it worth using something for less than five minutes that will take centuries to break down?
To illustrate the situation humans have imposed on the environment, I designed a set using recycled packaging and bags. Plastic water bottles are included to represent the millions of unrecycled bottles used every day, and human greed is symbolized by the gaudy jewelry and wardrobe. The crisis seems daunting, but it isn’t difficult to make a difference by changing the way we live and consume. We hold more power than we realize when we share, educate, and create change.
By Anova Hou
Modeled by Wilfredo D. and Dani
Makeup by Melfinna T