The Ocean Pavilion is an artwork created for i-Light festival in Singapore 2017. Made with the help of 11 schools and a local institute for ex-offenders, the artwork promotes the reuse and recycling of materials, but also considers the devastating effect plastic has on our ocean environment. The artwork was made from 25000 used plastic water bottles collected in Singapore. The form of the sculpture was inspired by microscopic underwater creatures called, radiolarians found in the nearby Singapore Strait.
Plastic bottles take 450 years to break down, killing marine life, harming the coastal ecosystem and ruining our beaches. There is a growing awareness of this problem and a willingness by governments to affect change.
Although the number of plastic bottles being recycled in each country varies, the vast majority go to landfill and some find their way to pollute our rivers and oceans. Some governments are considering creating a deposit scheme to help deal with the problem, others have opted to ban plastic bottles all together. The ideal solution of course is not to buy or use plastic bottles at all, but to always use reusable bottles. This would both reduce waste, pollution and also have a far lower carbon footprint.
At the end of this art project all the bottles will be recycled. But should they be? There are arguments that the bottles should be burnt and turned into energy.
The Ocean Pavilion is in part, an architectural experiment. Luke hopes to make this artwork using glass bottles inspired by radiolaria (which are made from silica) as a permanent artwork. See Luke’s Glass Microbiology series of works.
Recycling in Singapore
Based on data from research firm Euromonitor International, consumers splashed out about S$134 million on still bottled water in 2015. At $1 a bottle, that’s 15000 bottles/hour!
Under the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint 2015, Singapore is working towards becoming a Zero Waste Nation Find out more here.