In 2016 alone, the world produced 242 million tons of plastic waste, equivalent to about 24 trillion 500ml 10g plastic bottles. The amount of water from these bottles would fill 2,400 Olympic stadiums, 4.8 million Olympic-size swimming pools or 40 billion bathtubs. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation (2016) predicts that if no action is taken, by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.
While fossil resources such as coal and oil take more than 200 million years to form, the synthetic plastics made from them take just over a century to cause plastic waste pollution and become a global concern. A democratized material invention has fueled a frenzied culture of disposable consumption that threatens our global environment.
RECYCLING OF DISCARDED PLASTIC WATER BOTTLES
To produce 1 PET plastic drinking water bottle, it takes 3 bottles of water and 1/4 bottle of oil. Manufacturing 1 ton of PET plastic will produce about 3 tons of carbon dioxide, and the following transportation, shelving, refrigeration, and disposal processes will further increase carbon emissions. People are carefree and unrestricted in their consumption of material. Mineral water bottles, beverage bottles and other plastic products are the products of this consumer culture. This disposable experience consumes resources without limit, has no meaning or value beyond the transcendent, and jeopardizes the environment.
As an installation, "Water Tower" uses discarded mineral water bottles and beverage bottles collected within the Three Gorges reservoir area of the Yangtze River in China to frame a real-size water tower. As a circular expression of waste material, it creates and promotes positive changes in the social, institutional, environmental, and economic dimensions through imagination and practice with a counter-narrative approach. This is a reflection and warning against the economic activities we are facing, the depletion of natural resources and the loss of biodiversity.
WATER TOWER CONSTRUCTION IN PROGRESS
The water resources in the Yangtze River basin are an important strategic resource for the survival and development of the Chinese nation. Seeking continuous improvement and sharing awareness of the interdependence of the world through an artistic event on the banks of the Yangtze River, insisting on the rights of humanity and nature, in healthy, diverse and sustainable conditions.
"Water Tower", which proposes that citizens create together and emphasizes the social nature of sustainable practices, has issued an initiative to all people in the Yangtze River Three Gorges reservoir area to mobilize the community to collect 6,000, 4.5-5 liter mineral water bottles. The process of action is an general and inclusive creation and education. Starting from the "neighborhood", we re-examine the relationship between objects and the environment in daily life, care about the true whereabouts and destination of the objects, renew the cognition of symbiotic values, and seek for a kind of accommodation and coordination between environmental protection and individual life, accepting confrontation and reconciliation.
WATER TOWER CONSTRUCTION COMPLETED
Design / Material / Description
Recycled plastic water bottles
Using the waste mineral water bottles and beverage bottles collected in the Three Gorges Reservoir area as a recycled expression of materials, the project is a reflection and warning of the global environmental crisis, economic activities, depletion of natural resources, damage to the ecosystem and loss of biodiversity that we are facing. We advocate the public to create a synergy of shared imagination and shared responsibility even during the epidemic, so that we can envision a better world together.
WATER TOWER PARTIAL DETAILS
PLAY WITH THE WATER TOWER
A more sustainable world depends on a major transformation of today's lifestyles, production methods, and corresponding economic development models, and on a change in people's values and consumption attitudes. Even during epidemics, synergies and effects can be created by a collective imagination. The sense of Solidarity that arises when people hold hands and connect with each other creates a shared responsibility to work together to make our dreams come true.