First modification: Last modification:
Guatire (Venezuela) (AFP) – Danny started talking to his children about recycling by participating in the construction of a 270-meter-long mural of plastic caps that sends a powerful message in Venezuela, where reusing waste is a rarity.
About a ton of plastic waste is turned into art, instead of garbage, thanks to a mural on the side of an avenue in Guatire, a city of about 180,000 inhabitants 50 kilometers from Caracas. Hundreds of people like Danny Serrano, a 43-year-old bricklayer, have collaborated.
Danny helps sort plastic bottle caps by size and color and sticks them on the wall.
“Now I see a cap, I grab it and put it away,” this worker, who wears a cap covered with plastic caps, told the AFP agency. “Fabulous, because that way they are not wasted, it does not harm the fauna, it does not harm the rivers, it does not harm the land,” he remarks.
Inspired by the ‘Upcycled Art’ trend that transforms waste into art, the work is one of the creations promoted by artists and environmental organizations to carry a message of transformation in this Caribbean country with little culture of recycling.
More than 300,000 bottle caps have been used that “are not going to go to the ocean,” celebrates Oscar Olivares, the artist who designed the mural and seeks a Guinness record as the longest of its kind.
Four scarlet macaws in flight and a troupial, the national bird of Venezuela, are star motifs in the work.
“Change in Habits”
“The idea is to continue expanding this type of works, create many more so that recycling in Venezuela is the protagonist,” Olivares tells AFP.
The receptivity towards “the largest ecological mural in the world”, whose construction began on August 9 with the idea of inaugurating it in November, has been such that its promoters received more than a million pieces.
“We are generating a change in habits,” highlights Olivares, 26, who presented in 2019 in Caracas the first mural of plastic caps in Venezuela under the sponsorship of Ökospiri, an NGO that promotes ‘Upcycled Art’.
Ökospiri builds a school of murals in the coastal town of La Guaira, with plastic waste as protagonists in its design.
Excited, Verónica approached the Guatire mural with her husband Pedro and their 11-year-old twin children, Ainoa and Juan Andrés, to paste some covers.
“It’s looking amazing!” he said.
Between 8 and 13 million metric tons of plastics end up in the oceans each year, according to estimates from various studies.
Thousands of volunteers around the world collect mounds of waste during Beaches Day, which is celebrated on the third weekend of September. Known in Venezuela as “the recycling man,” Michelle Delgado, founder of the Recyclers club, is one of them.
Delgado is especially concerned about the imperceptible advance of “microplastics” in the water: “We are consuming plastic in what we eat.”
In a school shed in Caracas, this activist and his classmates, several of them children, organize plastic and other materials, some of which are turned into bricks with which they hope to build houses later.
There is also a collection center for hundreds of plastic caps that are later donated to Ökospiri for its murals.
State initiatives to promote recycling and waste classification are very limited in Venezuela, beyond the placement of special containers in some areas. Garbage overflows into these containers in downtown Caracas.
“You can have ten rubbish bins in a block and yet we have observed that there is a plastic bottle (on the ground) next to a recycling bin,” warns Michelle, who advocates “citizen awareness.”
#art #preventing #thousands #plastic #caps #polluting #sea #Venezuela