Great Pacific Garbage Patch Recreation Unveiled in Main Quad

Great Pacific Garbage Patch Recreation Unveiled in Main Quad

The model was crafted to spark conversation and increase student involvement in UCL sustainability initiatives

A recreation of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch has been unveiled in the main quad to mark the start of UCL Sustainability Week.

Commissioned by GreenUCL and made by the art collective Adaptive Capacity, the structure features plastic bottles from UCL’s recycling centre held up in a large net. Underneath the net is a specially designed board game full of facts, stats and conversation starters that encourage a more open and social conversation amongst peers.

Creators Adaptive Capacity said that they wanted to give students a “fish eye view” of the damage humans are causing.

Speaking to Pi News, they said: “We, like everyone else, were horrified to hear the details of the great pacific plastic patch.

“We know that for Londoners, in our city bubble, it’s really hard to imagine what life is like for animals and fish in the ocean, to have their sky blocked by dirty waste.”

Next to the recreation is a blackboard on which students can write their own suggestions for future sustainability initiatives at UCL. These ideas will be incorporated into UCL’s new sustainability strategy, which is being drawn up in the coming months. Alternatively, students can submit their proposals via an online surveySuggestions so far have ranged from meat-free days in catered halls to fixing the water fountains around campus.

Other events throughout the week include a free bike maintenance drop-in session, plastic-free soap making workshops, vegan cookery classes and sustainable beer tasting. The full schedule can be found here.

The real Pacific Garbage Patch continues growing but currently sits at three times the size of France and nine feet deep.

At the start of September, GreenUCL also launched the ‘Ditch the Disposable’ campaign, implementing a 15p surcharge for paper cups at cafes in order to encourage people to use reusable cups instead. UCL are aiming to increase the proportion of drinks served in reusable cups from five to 30 per cent.

Currently, around one million single-use cups are thrown away at UCL each year.


Featured Image Credit: Adaptive Capacity