Upcycling beach litter and found objects into art

'Balloon and Straw Turtles’ by Candy Medusa
Upcycled beach litter drinking straws and balloons on paper

What happens to a straw when you finish your drink? After you use it once, it can take 200 years to decompose. And if during that time it ends up in the sea, it can choke or injure many sea creatures, including dolphins, turtles, seabirds and seals. Sometimes animals can eat so much plastic by mistake that they can starve to death, stomachs so full of plastic that they can’t fit in any food.

Do you really need a straw? Could you drink out of the glass? 
Why not just say no straw thank you when you order your drink?

The turtle on the left is made from upcycled straws found during volunteer cleans of local beaches.

When you let go of aballoon, where does it go? If it lands in the sea it can entangle, injure or drown or choke many sea creatures, including seals, turtles, seabirds and whales. 

Even 'biodegradable' balloons take so long to break down that it's already too late for sea creatures that have eaten them by mistake or become tangled up in them by the time that happens.

Do you really need a balloon? Do you really need to damage the environment for a few minutes of entertainment?

The turtle on the right is made from upcycled balloons and balloon fragments found during volunteer cleans of local beaches.

Plastic Bag Jellyfish

After you’ve finishedwith your single-use plastic bag, it might be around for 400 years or more.

If it ends up in the sea, endangered sea turtles and other animals can mistakeit for a jellyfish and eat it, which can cause them to choke to death. Bags canalso trap, injure or drown many sea creatures, including seals, seabirds and dolphins.

Even bags which aresupposed to be biodegradable, compostable or photodegradable can take months oryears to degrade, which is not much use to animal with one wrapped around itsface.

This piece is madefrom upcycled plastic bags found on Brighton and Shoreham beaches, and has been exhibited at Shoreham Art Gallery, in the Underwater 2017 exhibition at Gosport Diving Museum, and at the Centrepiece exhibition on the Adur Art Trail.

Ghost Net Whale Tail

When fishing nets arediscarded at sea, they go right on doing what they are designed to do.Abandoned nets, known as ghost nets, can continue ‘fishing’ for decades,trapping, injuring or drowning many sea creatures, including seals, turtles,seabirds and whales.

This piece is madefrom upcycled ghost gear found on Brighton and Shoreham beaches.

This piece is in a private collection. If you would like to commission an upcycled piece, please get in touch.

Using Format