Winners and finalists
Studies have shown that tiny plastic particles are not only around us but are inside of us as well. Many of these micro-nano plastic releasing agents are not even considered as plastic by the general public. For example, the mesh fruit nets commonly used in fruit and vegetable packaging found in supermarkets. Plastic recycling factories are unable to recycle them as they get tangled up in the shredding machines used, resulting in the nets ending up in incinerators and landfill; Polluting the air, land and water.
In the installation Nasty Nets-work, I address this by making the polyethylene fruit nets an example of this. The use of these plastic nets to carry fruits and vegetables is contradictory. People are not aware that these soft nets are 100 % plastic (generally polyethylene) and that by tearing them open, this releases tiny particles that circulate through the air that we breathe. Often, they are the only option in supermarkets for most fruit and vegetable packaging. They are single used plastics and should be banned!
But look at these mesh nets differently as they are one of the most awesome colourful plastics available! As much as they are available as waste, they are in abundance as a material as well!
By collecting these fruit nets from my direct circle of friends, neighbours and family I have created a new material and brought awareness to all of the contributors through the process of collecting their own nets at home. By using an iron with moderate heat, several layers of nets are composed and connected together. This bonds the polyethylene fibres closer together so they do not release such tiny particles as before.
The design of the work happens when the nets are placed over and next to each other. Here, a beautiful, voluminous yet translucent, new “skin” that is both irregular and organic comes to life. Made from these incredibly cheap, single use, polyethylene nets.