Don’t let her delicate shine fool you; this mermaid means business. For Montreal-based photographer Benjamin Von Wong’s latest project titled Mermaids Hate Plastic, he took photos of a mermaid swimming in an ocean of plastic to raise awareness about pollution.
In case you didn’t know, the average American uses about 167 plastic bottles a year. By the time he’s 60, he will have used 10,000 plastic bottles. These plastics don’t just cause water pollution. When they release toxins and contaminate water sources, they can also negatively affect air quality.
Benjamin Von Wong’s Mermaids Hate Plastic project aims to stop people’s excessive plastic consumption.
For his latest masterpiece, the artist borrowed 10,000 plastic bottles, which came in a massive 50-foot truck, from the Tomra Waste Management Center and worked with a large group of collaborators and volunteers.
Meanwhile, the model, Clara, wore beautifully designed handmade mermaid tails that looked elegant against the plastic-filled background. Volunteer makeup artists and stylists worked together to make her look majestic.
The makeup and styling team made sure the model looked iridescent.
According to Von Wong:
“As an artist, I have always wondered what kind of difference I could make. Indeed, it is hard to really feel like taking pretty photographs can change the world yet this project has taught me that just by spreading the word, you can make a difference.”
Von Wong’s project is gaining good traction.
Dozens of volunteers helped and did what they could to make this project possible – from cleaning the plastic bottles to helping construct each layout. For each layout, the team had to gather the plastic bottles, sort them by color, and arrange them to recreate the artist’s vision.
All their hard work has resulted in beautiful images that make a strong statement about pollution. More so, it has inspired people from all over the world to reduce their plastic consumption.
Thousands of people have already pledged to use less plastic in support of the project.
The artist shared:
“Within a single week, my series generated over 10,000 pledges from people around the world to reduce their plastic use. If only 1% of them reduce their plastic consumption by 10% – that’s 100,000 less plastic bottles in the sea. With over 10 million views in just a week, requests for prints came streaming in – teachers, entrepreneurs, mothers – they wanted to have a print up to share the threat of plastic pollution in a beautiful interesting way.”
See how Von Wong and team made the Mermaids Hate Plastic project:
Were you inspired by this project? How will you reduce your use of plastic? Leave us a comment below.
To know more about Von Wong’s Mermaids Hate Plastic project, visit www.vonwong.com/Store/MermaidsHatePlastic.