Plastic Waste



"Kin" — The Right Whale

This 10 foot sculpture is of a baby Right Whale, made of ‘single use,’ non-recyclable plastic and is full of plastic detritus. Since all life on this planet, including humans, are connected, her name is Kin. She was inspired by a visit to the New Bedford Whaling Museum where I saw a skeleton of an unborn baby whale calf inside its giant Right whale mother’s skeleton, both killed by a ship strike. There are only a few hundred of these majestic animals left in the north Atlantic waters. Pollution of all types are causing their demise, along with entanglements in fishing lines and ship strikes.

Stella the Octopus

Stella is also made of single use non-recyclable plastic and is full of plastic. She is straddling a trash can, while collecting plastic with her many legs. The octopus is perfectly adapted to its environment and a master of survival, from instant camouflage to speedy propulsion with it’s ability to shoot ink at its predators. It is as smart as a domestic cat with the ability to use tools and recognize faces. Its brain is distributed evenly in its eight legs and its three hearts pump blue blood to its organs and gills. This extraordinary sea creature is compromised like all others by the immense amount of plastic that now litters every body of water on the planet.

Marnie Sinclair sculpture, "Stella"

Seamore Plastic

Seamore the seal has plastic skin and is filled with plastic. My neighbors collected this non-recyclable plastic for this art project. The seal is displayed on a discarded lobster trap with found rope, and bait bags, from the beach. Seals are naturally curious creatures and often think plastic of various sorts are toys, but instead end up entangled in fishing lines and other plastic debris floating in the oceans, causing painful premature deaths.

Petroleum family

Petro, Ole and Baby Umm, the Petroleum family, were inspired by a trip I took to Cambodia with my family. I saw many young women heavily burdened, carrying little children through mountains of plastic trash. Their presence made a lasting impression and inspired this piece. Petro, the mother is wearing a shawl which is made from pieces of silk printed with images of plastic waste dumps found the world over.

Over eight billion tons of plastic are produced annually with only 9% able to be recycled. Seventy-nine percent of plastic waste ends up in landfills, with a considerable amount sloughing off into the environment as litter. The remaining plastic waste is often incinerated. When burned, plastic continues its lasting legacy as a toxin, releasing toxic chemicals that negatively affect all forms of life in the air, land, and sea. Ten million tons of plastic end up in the oceans annually, and the breakdown of plastic into microplastics consumed by humans and wildlife is causing havoc. There are now five gigantic plastic gyres that ride the ocean currents, and cover hundreds of miles. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch off the coast of California is now larger than the state of Texas. Plastic in the oceans kills annually 100,000 marine mammals, over a million marine animals, and a million seabirds. We humans, at the top of the food chain, will consume 40lbs of plastic in each of our lifetimes. By 2050, the Plastic Oceans International predicts there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish.