A Glowing Island of Plastic Highlights Pollution in Portugal

Protest art puts the Pacific's island of garbage in your backyard.

by Beckett Mufson
Oct 16 2015, 8:25pm

Images courtesy the artist

Images of the massive garbage patch floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean are enough to guilt any environmentalist or animal-lover into dumping a paycheck into the Ocean Conservancy, but seeing one in your own backyard is a whole different story. That's why Madrid-based guerilla art group Luzinteruptus released a floating sculpture made from 5,000 illuminated plastic bottles, called La Isla Plastica, or The Plastic Island, into the Cascais Bay in Portugal.

"Our intention was to replicate, at a smaller scale, the so-called 'eighth continent' made of plastic and garbage which is alarmingly taking over great areas of the Pacific," Luzinterruptus tells The Creators Project. Their statement clocks in at 32 x 49 feet, but you get the point. "Governments remain passive before this situation either because they lack interest or because they are incapable to solve this problem. They are allowing this huge mass of about 4 million tons of more or less crushed plastic to shape about 22,200 kilometers (about 13,794 miles) of irregular surface which goes 30 meters (about 98 feet) deep under the water, and is destroying most of the marine wildlife in the area and transforming the ecosystem."

Luzinterruptus are known for their politically-driven public artwork, like a canopy of glowing condoms, a garden of LED syringes, and a labyrinth made of illuminated plastic bottles, protesting issues ranging from healthcare to people not picking up dog poop. See their take on ocean pollution in the images below.

See more of Luzinterruptus' work on their website.


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light art
public art
activist art
la isla plastica
the plastic island