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Creating Art With Trash To Inspire Change

Jun. 19/13

Imagine finding 305 bottle caps, 120 lighters and 254 odd flip flops at a beach near you. What would you do? PADI Instructor Joanna Hurford collected so much trash she decided to get creative and raise awareness about the rubbish issue in Indonesia and marine debris worldwide.

“On my days off, I collected marine debris washed onto the beach, from around the island. We also organise regular beach clean-ups and Dive Against Debris. 10 beach clean-ups and lots of bags of rubbish later I produced a video to show how many of the same items you find.  Marine debris can take hundreds of years to break down and until it does, it damages the aquatic life and the marine environment.  I wanted to show just how many ‘silent killers’ are polluting our island paradise,” said Joanna.

Joanna works at Trawangan Dive where they offer a ‘’Dive for FREE on Fridays’’ to involve divers in Dive Against Debris.  Recently volunteers helped remove over 5kg of rubbish from the Bounty Reef and reported their data online at projectaware.org.

In the true spirit of recycling old trash Joanna reused 217 bottle caps and 63 lighters from the video to create a Turtle Artwork for World Ocean Day. The event also showcased the effects of bycatch and pollution on our fragile marine environment. Using beautifully painted recycled plastic bottles, fish were shaped and attached to a net, to highlight a common fishing practice seen around Gili Trawangan, net fishing. This threatens already endangered marine animals frequently seen around the Gili's, like white tip sharks and green turtles, through entanglement and drowning, and discarding non-targeted species that are caught back into the ocean.

Thanks to everyone involved! You can check out the creative art here:

The more we know about debris underwater, the more we can influence change in waste management at local, national and international levels – shaping policies needed to stop trash at the source. Let’s Dive Against Debris for a clean and healthy ocean planet.

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