Nurses in the UK Create Art from Plastic Waste

Every morning on her way to work, nurse Sammie Aplin cleans the beach from plastic waste.

Brighton is a popular tourist destination on the south coast of England. There are tourists means there is garbage. Other marine debris reaches the beach after being dumped into rivers and carried away by currents from distant seas.

For Aplin, picking up trash is a form of therapy and relaxation before the long and often stressful working hours in the hospital. But during the lockdown, he started making rainbow art collages using some colorful trash.

Willem Boshoff's work made from colored plastic toy shards is on display at the Frieze Art Fair in London's Regent's Park (Photo: Illustration/AP/Alastair Grant)

Willem Boshoff’s work made of colored plastic toy shards is on display at the Frieze Art Fair in London’s Regent’s Park (Photo: Illustration/AP/Alastair Grant)

At first he only shared his creations with family and friends, but word quickly spread and now he has a list of customers waiting for his work and people coming from London to buy his latest work.

“I love finding anything colorful. Sad because on one hand I’m overjoyed because I thought it would look bright in art, but on the other hand, I was wondering why is this trash here? It shouldn’t be here. I only one person but the number I have found in this year is very large,” said Sammie Aplin.

Aplin is always on the lookout for colorful litter on the pebbly Brighton Beach. He was very happy to find children’s toys. Garbage that he cannot use, he will try to recycle.

“Seeing trash as a resource, in my opinion, is very important than this stuff just ending up in a landfill or being burned. Hopefully this will decorate someone’s wall for a few years and be there to enjoy,” he said.

It takes hundreds of years for plastic to decompose. Plastic will remain in the oceans for decades before it ends up washing up. Plastic waste in our oceans is not only unsightly when it washes up on our shores, it is also harmful to marine life.

The problem of marine plastic is not a local problem, but a problem of all of us, a global problem. [ka/ab]

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