It’s difficult to imagine the world without plastic. It has invaded every facet of our lives, whether it’s the disposable plates and glasses, packing material, containers, bottles, machine parts, crockery, eyeglasses, and whatever you can imagine.
Image Via: Thomas Dambo
If this is the extent of plastic use, you can well imagine how much plastic trash must be piling up. The problem with plastic is it is non-biodegradable and chemical laden. Its toxic chemicals slowly seep into the soil and water and contaminate the environment.
However, there is one individual by the name of Thomas Dambo, who has come up with a solution of sorts. This Copenhagen-based artist and designer creates ‘trash’ art. In his home country Denmark, he creates beautiful and fun projects out of disposed plastic objects that are collected from the dumpsters around the city.
Dambo’s inspiration are the trash collectors. He makes no bones about it when he says, “…people don’t see where their trash goes and don’t know the people who deal with it. I believe we should celebrate these people (trash collectors), show how wonderful they are and how much potential and how many wonderful things we can create from our scraps.
Because by doing this the children of tomorrow might grow up wanting to work with trash, because they don’t see it as something ugly and smelly, but as something beautiful and valuable.”
Dambo’s claim to fame is ‘The Future Forest’. Working in Mexico City, he turned three tons of plastic waste into a 500 square meters plastic forest with plastic figurines of flowers, trees and animals. This has added vibrant colors to the surroundings and turned this plastic trash into a work of art.
Dambo was not alone in creating this plastic forest. Help came from all quarters, from Pepenadores (trash collectors), their children, over 700 students, people from an orphanage and an elderly home and more than 100 volunteers. Even with such helping hands, it took eight weeks to collect the trash and build the forest.
You can see this marvelous plastic forest in the botanical garden of Chapultepec, where it will remain for some months. Although, Dambo has disassociated himself from this project and moved on to another project, the local organization, FYJA, who authorized this work has started running workshops to train new kids to add to this forest.
Dambo has achieved his aim of inspiring people to have fun with trash and think of it as a resource.
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