Monument to Plastic

The world is becoming increasingly aware of the looming threat caused by our disposable attitude towards plastic, but it can be hard to understand the scale of the problem.

We aim to tackle this problem by creating a monument that visualizes the buildup of plastic waste over the course of its 111 year existence. By confronting individuals with the rapidly growing rate and scale of the problem, we hope to provide a glimpse of the future that awaits us if we do not make dramatic changes to our habits.

Goals of the monument

Visualizing the numbers

The monument will be comprised of 148 pillars, each representing a year from the invention of plastic in 1908 through to the year 2050. Pillars for past years will visualize the total mass of humans and total mass of plastic for that year, while future years will show the predicted mass of plastic.

Explaining how we got here

The purpose of the monument is not only to be an honest demonstration of the problem at hand, but to also provide hope for the future. Infographics will be placed below pillars, documenting the policies that are being negotiated by government agencies as well as new technologies that are being developed to help solve the problem.

A dynamic object

The monument is designed to be a “living” sculpture that will be updated annually. As the years progress, pillars will be updated and projected plastic mass values will be replaced with recorded values. Disparities between projected and recorded values will be highlighted to visualize if the problem is worsening or is being addressed.

Plastic in timeline
Blog posts

Dreaming up the plastic monument

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What needs to change

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Building a Plastic Monument

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