Plastication Imagination

Plastication Imagination photography exhibition returned Autumn 2019 for a second exhibition of images to inspire reflection, action and commitment to changes that care for and support the wellbeing of our environment, ecosystems and all beings including ourselves. Let's use imagination to get ourselves out of the mess we have made!

Read the article in Hastings Online Times

Image left, transformation, plastication 2019

Last year, this work was about our need to WAKE UP to our collective responsibility for cleaning up our messy  lifestyles; I wanted it to be both playful and serious. 

Now, while we are slowly waking up to the need to change our behaviour particularly our attachment to using plastics and our habit of throwing things away after use, we still need to find motivation and inspiration to commit to making more holistic, and likely less convenient, choices. These images are a result of my own exploration and expression of multitude conflicting thoughts and feelings about the environmental challenges we collectively face. Overall, I feel optimistic about our capacity for connecting with and caring for our environment. I also feel an urgent need for collective shifts in attitude and frustration about how difficult it sometimes is for me to make better choices and also what I see as continued mass complacency.  

I still want to inspire positive action because we can all make a difference with our everyday choices- choices about what we buy, what we eat and drink as well as how we dispose of packaging and things we no longer need or want; we can choose to buy things with less packaging; we can choose to pick up rubbish when we see it on the beach and on the pavement so it doesn’t end up in the sea, instead of expecting someone else to do it. We need to use our imaginations in order to evolve and to solve our current ecological dilemmas; I'm also convinced we can enjoy at least some of this process. Lots of people will tell you, myself included, that it feels good to pick up litter and care for our local environment!

detail, dreaming beyond the plastic age

a list of some local relevant organisations from Strandliners newsletter
StrandlinersCIC - Our website with information & events
United Nations Association Southeast Region - partnering StrandlinersCIC projects
Sea-Changers - supporting the CAT programme
BreakFreeFromPlastic - partnering brand audit surveys
Rye Bay Beachcombing - for recording all beach finds natural & manmade - Facebook
Strandliner blog - creator of Strandliners, Andy Dinsdale's blog
search for on Facebook: Zero Waste Hastings and Rother, Plastic Free Hastings, Hastings Beach Cleans, Clean Seas Please 

Some Tips on How YOU CAN take Action to reduce waste and help clean up our seafront
  1. always carry a reusable, leak proof drinking container to reduce your use of plastic bottles and take-away cups. I use my resusable coffee/tea cup for water also. You could relax for a change and have your drink in! Obviously during Covid this is less easy and all the more important to use reusable containers. Covid is NOT a good reason to increase plastic use. 
  2. If you consume bottled drinks, try to buy in glass instead of plastic.
  3. use good old fashioned bars of soap instead of shower gels and liquid hand soaps
  4. challenge yourself to be aware of the packaging you buy with your food and at least try to reduce it; for example, buy loose fruit and veg and carry in your own reusable bag. 
  5. let retailers know that you won't buy their plastic covered products unless they change to recyclable or degradable packaging.
  6. when you see rubbish anywhere on the pavement or on the beach, PICK IT UP, unless it is obviously unhygienic (do not put your health at risk!). It will make a huge difference if we all pick up the bits of rubbish that we typically walk over in the course of a day. 
  7. use 'd2w' biodegradable rubbish bags, available at Trinity in Hastings or online. I use black standard ones for ordinary rubbish and white pedal bin ones for random beach / street litter picking. video link to see how this degrades:
  8. consider always carrying a degradable bag for picking up rubbish as you walk about.
  9. just because rubbish is collected every week or two doesn't mean you are obliged to fill your bin with stuff! use online platforms to give things away to others who can make use of them. Even if things don't work there is often someone willing to take it. Make sure your bin liner is actually full before replacing it. If your bin smells, ask what are your discarding? why are you wasting food? Can your scraps be composted? Get together with neighbors if you don't have a composter yourself. 
  10. use a bamboo toothbrush and make your own toothpaste, easier than you think!
  11. save your jars to reuse as storage containers
  12. Don't give children plastic toys; children are infinitely imaginative and could have fun playing with a cardboard box. Find toys made from natural materials which is better for their health and for the planet.
  13. generally reduce demand for plastic by using less in all areas of life.
  14. If something feels hard to give up or change, talk with others and find out what they do; don't give up straight away. We need to work together on this.

A little good news:

Highly informative for the whole family, and ending on a positive note, BBC documentary The Secret Life of Landfill: a Rubbish History, is still available on bbc iplayer by clicking this link. 

Another must see is Drowning in Plastic, also on bbc iplayer. Its painful viewing but absolutely essential that we collectively understand our currently dire world situation so that we can all access motivation to not only change our personal behaviour, but to also demand change from those authority to STOP making plastic and to find alternatives. 

an article about positive change from Global Citizen, a great source of balanced positivity on environmental matters

                                                                                                                                                       unexpected catch   

Global Citizen's 7 ways to cut out junk plastic

Global Citizen's 10 Facts About Plastic Pollution

You Absolutely Need to Know:

  1. Since the 1950s, around 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been produced worldwide.
  2. In some parts of the world, using plastic is already illegal.
  3. 73% of beach litter worldwide is plastic.
  4. A million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute.
  5. Worldwide, about 2 million plastic bags are used every minute.
  6. 90% of plastic polluting our oceans is carried by just 10 rivers.
  7. Plastic is killing more than 1.1 million seabirds and animals every year.
  8. The average person eats 70,000 microplastics each year.
  9. The average time that a plastic bag is used for is … 12 minutes.
  10. Over the past 50 years, world plastic production has doubled.

Further information about marine plastic pollution and articles about the rise of 

plastic rubbish found on UK beaches:

Global Citizen Plastic news articles

Cornwall Live article about Cornwall's Beaches after storm Eleanor

Guardian article, 'Shocking' rise in rubbish washing up on UK beaches

A particular bugbear of mine is cigarette remains which smokers fling without a thought onto the pavement; they end up in drains which lead to the sea, of course. I am not attacking smokers! This is a symptom of our 'throw away' attitude that needs to change. Check out the article. Image on the right pictures a pile of cigarette ends I recently collected on a very short stretch of my road; imagine how many are on the streets and pavements across the planet, waiting for rain flow to take them to the sea...

Take action and connect with like minded others:

Plastic Free Hastings face book page

Lots of ideas for taking action from Clean Seas Please

Recycling Facts and Info from recycle now


Transition Town Hastings

Plastic Pollution Facts and Figures from Surfers Against Sewage

check out the UK's eco psychology site to learn more about the diversity of thought and practice within eco psychology

all content including images copyright Marybeth Haas 2006-2021 all rights reserved