‘Plastic suffocation’ is an ongoing project which conveys the message that plastics are undoubtedly overused as a means of packaging. Other means of packaging are available yet are too expensive to differ from the “cheap” and durable alternative. We are constantly choosing the same material despite other, far greater alternatives existing. Notwithstanding the effects it has on our environment.
Due to the mass demand for plastic, costs are incredibly low. Plastic is the cheapest material to use as a means of packaging therefore companies will constantly use it over far more beneficial, eco-friendly, and biodegradable alternatives. Governments across the globe need to take into consideration the harm plastic does to our environment and investigate a mass-produced, greener alternative. This can begin with a plastic tax and a tax cut for B-D materials to move the demand to greener alternatives whilst taxing those who use plastic.
Although there aren’t any legislations regarding the use of plastic, lesser established countries such as: Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, The Philippines to name a few are ceasing the global importation of plastic waste from wealthy countries such as the UK and USA. Practically every corner of our planet is covered in plastics due to ‘how beneficial owning plastic waste was’ for lesser established countries, allowing their second-hand plastic to sit in dumps to degrade until they’re small enough to enter the ecosystem in irreversible ways.
Plastic pollution is one of the largest environmental threats of current times. If disposed of incorrectly, plastics can take hundreds to thousands of years to break down into microplastics. Microplastics are an extremely deadly version of plastic that is practically irreversible.
325 particles collate from a singular, deteriorating plastic body the size of a plastic bottle. Imagine what thousands, millions of individual plastic bodies deteriorating would look like. That is what the great pacific garbage patch looks like.
I portray the message that we, the consumers are being blinded to the consequences of plastic by framing each model with a generic white plastic bag over their head, obscuring sight, stripping each individual of their biological identity and trapping all respiratory systems, exactly how the 100,000 marine creatures a year die due to plastic entanglement.
6 images depict close-up headshot portraiture commonly used to capture an individual’s facial features, of which there isn’t any on display.
The later 6 showcase cause and effect.
A man standing in low tide with a clear plastic bag full of fish, a common denominator in the death of marine creatures.
A woman gardening, disposing of her dead plants in a non-biodegradable plastic bag, a bag that will not biodegrade, instead it will break down into microplastics that nearby plant life ends up consuming.
A man stood next to a non-recyclable black bin, holding a black bag full of household waste. Not knowing that this waste will add to landfill sites. In 2017 roughly 139.6 million tons of household waste were landfilled with plastics totalling to 19 percent which is 26,524,000 tons of plastic. 26,524,000 tons is roughly the weight of 193,722 people.
Until a plastics policy has passed, we will continue choking ourselves with the repercussions of plastics, governments need to stop blinding us - the consumers, by failing to put a stop to plastics. They cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the damages that are being caused, corporations will continue to use plastics as if they do so and nothing will change.