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Whale Made from Waste Plastic Brings Recycling Message to Washington

Tuesday, November 18, 2014   (0 Comments)
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Source: Waste Management World 


A 32 foot long whale made from waste plastic and bags is migrating through Washington State and stopping at community events and a local recycling center in order to bring awareness to the amount of plastic we use but do not recycle.


The whale is the result of the Plastic Whale Project, a creation of Carrie Ziegler, waste reduction specialist for Thurston County. The project was inspired after the autopsy of a grey whale in Puget Sound revealed that her stomach included significant quantities of waste including 20 plastic shopping bags at the time of death.


Ziegler designed the project with the support students at of over 15 schools who braided together 9,000 plastic bags, juice cups and plastic utensils that form the whale’s skin and skeleton. The whale’s skin includes a depiction of the Pacific Ocean and the swirling mass of mostly plastic garbage known as the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’.


With the assistance of local recycling, compost and garbage hauler, Recology CleanScapes, the whale has been ‘migrating’ to major community events throughout Washington State to draw attention to the impact of single use plastic bags and to promote recycling.


The whale was featured at the Washington State Fair (formerly known as the Puyallup Fair), then travelled north to be displayed at Issaquah’s annual Salmon Days event and is currently headed for the Imagine! Children’s Museum in Everett for America Recycle’s Day on November 15th.


Recology CleanScapes said that after November 20th the whale will return to its temporary home at its material recycling facility (MRF) in Seattle, where it will be on display for tour groups.


The company noted that over a lifetime, the average American will throw away 600 times their own body weight in plastic, and that plastic makes up over 10% of the washed up debris polluting American coastlines.


“32 million tons of plastic waste was generated in America in 2012 yet only 9% was recovered for recycling,” commented Dan Bridges, Recology CleanScapes’ general manager. “We must do better. Recology CleanScapes is pleased to be able to share this whale with communities to draw attention to the importance of recycling.”


To learn more visit:

 Washington State Recycling Association | 545 Andover Park W, Ste 209, Tukwila, WA 98188 | 206.244.0311 |

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