Did you know that 8 million pieces of plastic find their way into the oceans every day? These plastics are having a devastating effect on marine life. This summer, Litter Free Coast and Sea are encouraging people enjoying the Dorset coast to be as plastic clever and litter-free as possible, to reduce the rubbish entering our oceans and damaging wildlife.

Jack Raisey, an architectural designer, has designed and built 4 sculptures which have been installed on Bournemouth, Weymouth, West Bay and Lyme Regis beaches. The sculptures will stay in place until the end of August. The sculptures represent typical single-use plastic, take away food and drink items in giant size (2.5m tall and 5m long) and promote, through graphics designed by Rowena Taylor, the choices we can all make to combat the impact plastic and our waste is having on the planet. The sculptures are decorated to represent the geology of the area, showing that the fossils of tomorrow may be the plastic litter we release into the environment today. Before commissioning Jack to create the sculptures, Litter Free Coast and Sea and Dorset Food and Drink carried out ‘plastic surgeries’, where local food and drink businesses who are reducing their plastic and experimenting with alternative packaging, shared their experience and inspired others to do the same. The sculptures celebrate their efforts and promote making environmentally responsible choices.

Jack Raisey, the artist, said: “The sculptures will not only create a striking silhouette against the beachscape but are designed to encourage people to stop and think, even if only for a second. If everyone made small changes, it adds up to make a big difference.”

Gwen Hawkins, the coordinator of Litter Free Coast and Sea, said: “We want to engage with people using the beaches and help them be more aware of the damage littering causes, with the aim of reducing food and drink-related litter such as bottles, trays, cutlery, BBQs etc. The sculptures Jack has created will get people’s attention and make people think about the impact they have while at the beach.”

Jack and Gwen in Bournemouth.

This project is part of the Dorset Coastal Connections portfolio of 18 projects along the Dorset Coast which aims to support and boost the economies of Dorset’s coastal areas. The portfolio is being funded by a grant from the government’s Coastal Communities Fund and partner organisations and is coordinated by Dorset Coast Forum.

The project has very much been one of partnership, bringing together Litter Free Coast and Sea, Dorset Food and Drink, and the Arts Development Company, as well as Dorset Council, Lyme Regis Town Council, West Bay Harbour Master’s office, Weymouth Town Council and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council. See www.dorsetcoasthaveyoursay.co.uk for more information.

Jack and the team in Weymouth.

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