Beyond Borders - People, Plastic and Pollution

(Poster detail) PHYT! Design Team: Abbie Holbrook, Brodie Feeney, Nathan McGaw, Louise Ritchens, Stella Wadeson, Millicent Yates
Wednesday 18 May 2022

Presented by The Embassy of Sweden & Students at the ANU School of the Art and Design, ‘Beyond Borders - People, Plastic and Pollution’ is a collaborative art exhibition exploring the issue of plastic pollution – a problem transcending national borders

This project was conducted as part of the design course DESN3011 Design Studio: Engagement and Collaboration in semester 2, 2021. Students have continued to work in collaboration with the Embassy to bring their work to life and align the exhibition with Stockholm+50, an important UN-mandated international environmental meeting in June 2022.

There are two student groups involved and each have transformed a room at the Embassy to raise awareness about plastic pollution;
Student Group 1: PHYT!
Students: Nathan McGaw, Millicent Yates, Brodie Feeney, Louisa Ritchens, Abbie Holbrook, Stella Wadeson
Student Group 2: Plastic Bedroom
Students: Ryan Blake, Beth O'Sullivan, Catherine Feint, Luke Farrow, Sophie Hodge, Sasha Trail

There is also second exhibition, Re:waste, developed by the Swedish Institute focusing on circularity, moving beyond recycling to reusing and repairing existing items.

Both the exhibitions are open to the public for two Saturdays, May 14 and 21, from 11am to 2pm. Entry is free but you need to first register on Eventbrite.

The exhibitions are timely. This year marks 50 years since the first United Nations conference on the human environment was held in Stockholm in 1972.  Next month, the Swedish Government is hosting a high-level international meeting - Stockholm+50 - recognising the anniversary and seeing where to next for "a healthy planet for the prosperity of all.”  Swedish Ambassador Henrik Cederin said plastics pollution was an issue that went beyond national borders. Sweden has in the past funded projects to reduce plastics pollution in south-east Asia.

"This is one of the important issues to address as the international community," Mr Cederin said.

"We are very pleased with the fact that the international community in March this year agreed to start negotiating a global agreement to combat plastic pollution and that includes a commitment by Australia to take part, that is really great."  Mr Cederin said back home in Sweden, compared to Australia, the locals were receiving a higher price for recycled bottles and cans, paid more for plastic bags at the supermarket and there were recycling stations scattered right throughout residential areas.  "In many of these environmental areas, we need to accelerate the pace," he said.  "We're seeing how much plastic is going into the oceans. It originates on land but much of it ends up in the ocean, and that is a big concern."*


*Text courtesy The Canberra Times.

Updated:  18 May 2022/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications