Plastic straw waste art installation aims to raise awareness
  • | VET | January 31, 2019 04:00 PM
“The Parting of the Plastic Sea” art piece in the atrium of the Estella Place retail mall in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 2 is being showcased in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest art installation made from plastic straws, with over 150,000 being used that were collected on streets around Vietnam.

Zero Waste Saigon, Starbucks Vietnam, and Keppel Land partner to showcase exhibition in HCMC by artist Von Wong. Photo: Keppel Land Vietnam

To raise awareness about the impact of plastic waste on the environment and to encourage the public to reduce their consumption of single-use plastics, artist Von Wong, non-profit organization Zero Waste Saigon, Starbucks Vietnam, and leading green developer Keppel Land are partnering to exhibit the art piece.

The piece is created from recovered plastic packaging and straws that were meticulously collected from all over Vietnam with the help of volunteers, including schools like the British International School, the American International School, and the German School, along with local Starbucks partners. With a mission to surprise and educate passers-by, the hope is to give the public a visual representation of the connection between our plastic usage and the dangers it represents to our oceans.

“We are very proud to be part of this project together with our business allies,” said Ms. Patricia Marques, General Manager of Starbucks Vietnam. “Our partners are very excited to participate in building this installation.”

“Keppel Land adopts a proactive and holistic approach towards sustainability,” said Mr. Linson Lim, President of Keppel Land Vietnam. “Through initiatives such as lending support towards ‘The Parting of the Plastic Sea’, we seek to raise awareness about environmental protection and encourage our stakeholders to move away from single-use plastics and join us as we shape a more sustainable future.”

“I believe that each and every person has the ability to positively affect the world with their actions,” artist Von Wong said. “I hope that this installation can become a tool that anyone can use to encourage others to turn down the next straw they are offered. Alone, these straws represent a tragedy, but the #strawpocalypse campaign also represents ‘hope’ of what is possible when people and companies come together to make a difference.”

“Saying no to a plastic straw is a way that each person can have a positive impact on protecting the environment,” said Ms. Julia Mesner, founder of Zero Waste Saigon. “Plastic straws are one of the most useless pieces of waste because they are unnecessary for most people. Our motto is ‘Every action counts’. Making a small action today will lead people to bigger actions that will change the world for the better.”

From January 25 to March 24, members of the public are encouraged to visit Estella Place and share their experience of the installation on social media accompanied by the hashtag #strawpocalypse. They are also encouraged to pledge their support and make a commitment to tell others “No-straw, please”.

According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, there could be more plastic than fish in the sea by weight by the year 2050. Although Vietnam is home to only 1.26 per cent of the world’s population, it is responsible for 6 per cent of the plastic that enters the ocean.

Leave your comment on this story