Australia’s two major supermarkets have promised to stop using plastic at the end of the year, but plastic bags are still being handed out in abundance by retail stores and used thoughtlessly by their customers here. And single serve plastic water bottles are still being sold in 24 packs for a very desirable 35c (approx.) each.
Sadly, Australia’s “put our wants before the planet’s needs” attitude to plastic waste is replicated throughout the world.
Two London creatives – freelancer, Michael Hughes, and Dalatando Almeida from Freelance Designs X, have created a campaign to get people with power to solve the problem. Ostensibly. The idea is also a global education campaign. They have named the mass of plastic waste floating in the North Pacific as a country and are lobbying the United Nations to recognise it as such so that that the world’s governments will clean it up.
Its stated goal is that other countries will be obligated to clean up the island under the UN’s environmental charter. Its other intention is to be a wake-up call for people about creating plastic waste.
Trash Isles, as it is called, has been given the trappings of a real country – passports, its own currency called Debris, stamps, a flag (designed by Mario Kerkstra) and Al Gore as its first citizen.
A Change.org petition asks people to sign up as citizens, achieving one of the four requirements for Trash Isles to be recognised as a nation. It must also have a defined territory, a government and the ability to interact with other states.
The currency features images of turtles, seals and whales suffering because of floating trash. The flag features a white sky, blue water and a green plastic bottle.
The “country” was founded with a letter to the UN formally requesting recognition as a nation state, signed by the campaign’s two partner organisations, The Plastic Oceans Foundation and LADBible.
English actor and investigative journalist, Ross Kemp, stars in the video that makes the case for Trash Isle’s status, which includes facts such as 8 million tons of plastic garbage end up in the oceans each year, killing 1 million sea birds.
Trash Isles passport:
Trash Isles currency:
Trash Isles stamps: