Series 1: Plastic Fossils

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This series is about single use plastic, from cradle (made from fossil fuel) to grave (chards and artifacts in the ground). Remember the opening scene from 1967 film,  “The Graduate” with Dustin Hoffman? Ben, played by Dustin Hoffman, is asked by Joanne, one of the guests at his graduate party what he plans to do with his life and future post graduation. Mr. McGuire interrupts the two to offer some private paternal advise. He recommends the field of plastics because there is big money in plastics. Plastics did become big business. But like most economic/business plans it excludes the cost to the environment and health for all life forms. Plastics, particularly single use plastics, have become one of the biggest pollutants. The fossil fuel industry as partners in the plastic production industry also benefitted financially since plastic is made from fossil fuels.  Now that oil industry faces existential crisis as the planet grows warmer and renewable energy becomes more common, oil companies are spending billions pivot to produce plastics. Consumers throw away the material as quickly as they purchase it with an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality. The United States cannot keep up with the amount of trash produced from plastics. In response they pay other countries, usually poorer countries, to take our trash who in turn dump most of it in the ocean and rivers. It is a vicious cycle to reduce any financial burden for taking environmental responsibility on the part of the plastic producers, increase producers revenue, and push the problem to other countries. These works represent the hidden plastic cycle. Corporations creating or using single use plastic are at odds with global warming. All images are © copyright.