30 January 2011

The hunt for plastic: Part 2

Simon MAX Bannister
Simon MAX Bannister

Simon MAX Bannister is the producer of Plastikos, a unique exhibition that aims to raise awareness about waste – particularly plastic and micro plastic – and its impact on the oceans, all through art. While Plastikos is showing at the Aquarium at the moment, the creator is at sea on the Sea Dragon with the 5 Gyres’ research crew. Their mission? To delve deeper into the frightening world of plastic pollution, and how it is affecting our oceans. Simon is blogging from the boat …

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Reporting from the middle of nowhere, far away from civilisation, a flip-flop drifts quietly past the boat. It is too small and too fast for my reflexes as I hold my harpoon at the ready.

You have to be fast when hunting macro debris on the bow of the Sea Dragon. Ten days from Uruguay, we are 2 540 nautical miles off the coast of South Africa, cruising on a calm sun-drenched desert of water.

The trawls today have heralded many plastic fragments, filaments and a couple of mermaid’s tears (pellets). Shocked by the amount caught by such a small net, the tiny pieces represent a colossal issue that reaches deep into our consumer culture.

In the quiet moments, I have had time to sketch the samples from my imagination …

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