Petra, Ole & Umm

mixed media
36"t x 20"w x 19"d  



Petro and her kids, Ole and baby Umm, were made from plastic food containers, cups, bags, straws, and bottles that I purchased over a period of six months. What used to be recycled at our landfill here in Maine, can’t be recycled because China no longer accepts our dirty unsorted plastic waste.  Now we are again dumping it in our own back yards.

The world is drowning in plastic, as bottles, containers, bags, and a myriad of other colorful items are dumped onto the land and in the oceans daily. 8.3 billion Metric tons of disposable plastic products are produced annually with only 9% able to be recycled.  79% of the plastic waste ends up in our landfills with a considerable amount sloughing off into our environments as litter. Pollution from the plastic can be found in our surface and groundwater. We produce toxic chemicals when the plastic is incinerated which affects all forms of life in the air, land and water. Our oceans are saturated with plastic waste which breaks into micro-plastic — tiny pieces that are ingested by all forms of marine life eventually making their way up the food chain and into our own diets. The entanglements of netting and fishing gear as well as suffocation and toxins from the ocean floor to the surface is causing havoc for all creatures, starting with the plankton which is close to the bottom of the food chain.  Now there are five gigantic plastic gyres that ride the currents and spread for hundreds of miles. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch off the coast of California is now larger than the state of Texas.

Nature recycles detritus by processing its nutrients for the healthy growth of many life forms. Plastic is a different story, it can take many hundreds of years to break down and has no nutrition value. We have tipped the natural balance needed by the earth to clean up our waste. Now it is time for us to demand and use less plastic, and recycle or reuse what we already have.

Marnie Sinclair