Recycled plastic bottles make brilliant artistic building blocks

August 14, 2015

Our planet is overrun with plastic bottles to the point where oceans are cluttered, landfill is exhausted, and the wellbeing of plants and animals is compromised. In Australia more than 700 million litres of bottled water are consumed each year. What's more, PET (the harmful man-made polymer - polyethylene terephthalate) production is showing no sign of abating or even slowing. So clearly there is no shortage of components for environmental artists who create magic from plastic bottle debris. When materials are free of charge and better still, removed from harming our habitat, it's a win-win situation as in the case of Czech artist Veronika Richterová. Among her inspirational creations are intriguing cacti sculptures with prickly exteriors cleverly textured to mimic the real thing - in fact I almost prefer them!
Another of Veronika's creations from her plant series is titled Fruit of Paradise X and then from her animal series there's the really creepy Flying Fox below.
Raising awareness of plastic bottle build-up and it's non-biodegradability is essential. In some oceans plastic still outweighs plankton in spite of environmental campaigning. Art and education are vital mediums for this hence an eye-catching initiative of a Primary School in Canberra must be applauded and promoted. 
Richardson Primary School rescued more than 2000 plastic bottles and built a greenhouse in the playground to be used for growing seedlings and conducting science experiments. Opened in June 2015 by the Minister for Education Joy Burch, a grant of $2000 from the Teachers Mutual Bank Environment Fund program for extra materials secured the design and build. Year 6 teacher Kate Davis was instrumental in bringing the project to fruition after three years of planning. She said it has inspired pupils to realise everyday objects can be repurposed. Cut-off plastic bottles are also used to cultivate seedlings which pupils then transplant from the greenhouse to the school garden. What a wonderful way to immerse children in a grand-scale recycling project as well as a garden to plate experience.



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