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Washed Up

From the Big Island of Hawaii to the world, Alejandro Durán’s project “Washed Up” uses plastic waste discarded on beaches to create thought-provoking installations that highlight the impact of consumer society on the ocean.

The amount of plastic waste produced globally has been increasing rapidly over the past few decades, and single-use plastics such as straws, bottles, and bags are among the most common items found in the ocean. These plastics continue to break down into micro-plastics over hundreds (and thousands) of years, harming marine life that mistakes them for food or gets entangled in them.

Durán's art installations use these discarded plastics to create colorful and visually striking works that draw attention to the scale of the plastic pollution problem. He arranges the plastic objects according to color and shape, creating patterns that resemble natural forms such as coral reefs or sand dunes.

By repurposing plastic waste in this way, Durán hopes to encourage people to think more deeply about the impact of their consumption habits on the environment. He believes that art has the power to raise awareness and inspire change, especially on a subject that has become very prominent in recent years.

One way to combat plastic pollution is to reduce our use of single-use plastics. This can involve making small changes such as using reusable bags and bottles, avoiding plastic straws, and choosing products with minimal packaging. Businesses can also take steps to reduce plastic waste, such as using biodegradable materials for packaging or offering incentives for customers who bring their own reusable containers.

In addition, improved waste management practices can help prevent plastic pollution from entering the ocean. This requires government support and investment in infrastructure, as well as individual efforts to properly dispose of plastic waste.

The issue of plastic pollution in our oceans is a complex problem that requires a concerted effort from individuals, businesses, and governments. By taking action to reduce our reliance on single-use plastics, improve waste management practices, and support artists like Durán who raise awareness about the issue, we can start to make a positive difference.

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