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Brighton Journal | 20th February 2020

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Help Stop Plastics Bottle Tops Becoming a Drop in The Ocean

Help Stop Plastics Bottle Tops Becoming a Drop in The Ocean
Hannah Midgley

Volunteers are being called upon to help create phase 2 of  ‘A Drop in the Ocean’, the amazing art installation that is situated at the world famous Volks Railway.

The creator of the colourful installation, local designer Irene Soler, hopes people will assist in continuing the ‘A Drop in the Ocean’ installation, created from thousands of plastic bottle tops gathered on the city’s beach.

Irene, who has been participating in beach cleans for over 4 years, got her idea when collecting litter on the beach and noticed she’d picked up many brightly coloured plastic bottle tops.

With statistics such as ‘80% of litter in the sea comes from land’, and ‘35% of fish in the sea contain plastic inside them’, the detrimental impact of littering and plastic pollution on the beach is frightening.

As part of this project, a massive 10,500 tops were collected and saved from potentially ending up in the sea during May and August this year, and will be used to created phase 2 of the design – a wave of beautiful, bubbly colour that decorates the fence along the railway line.

Irene said: “We completed phase 1 in July which includes most of the 9,248 bottle tops that were collected during March to May by Brighton & Hove City Council’s Cityclean beach-cleaning teams, cafes and kiosks along the seafront, as well as by organised beach cleans and individuals.

“Each one is a bottle top that didn’t end up in the sea.”

Irene added: “Now we’re hoping volunteers will join our latest workshops and help thread and string the latest 10,500 bottle tops together to create phase 2. Last time it took us six days to put them together and we had around 60 volunteers.

“We had so much fun, great ideas came up while threading the tops and so many connections happened among all these people who care.”

When phase 1 was launched, some people questioned why plastic was being taken onto the beach.

But Irene points out that every one of the bottle tops were collected on the beach and she estimates around 30,000 tops could be used in total when the installation is finished after phase 3.

She said: “Not only will we have saved around 30,000 plastic bottles tops from potentially entering our seas and harming our marine life, we’re also using the art to highlight the problems of some people leaving their rubbish on the beach.”

The installation will be completed by the end of this year after phase 3 is finished, and will stay in place until next spring.

Irene is now seeking volunteers! If you fancy getting involved, the workshops will run on Monday 10th September to Thursday 13th September from 10.30am to 5pm at Volks Railway Visitor Centre, Madeira Drive, Brighton.

To find out more information about the project, you can read our interview with Irene Soler about phase 1 of ‘A Drop in the Ocean’ here, or you can visit the projects website:

Featured Image shows Irene Soler alongside the Art Installation on Brighton beach. Image is credited to Darren Cool.

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