Porto fights plastic pollution and raises awareness on plastic litter in the ocean

  • Article



Miguel Nogueira

If you come across a huge sculpture representing the planet and which is filled with plastic bottles you are appreciating the result of a joint initiative by the Interdisciplinary Centre of Maritime and Environmental Investigation of the University of Porto (CIIMAR-UP) and the SeaLife.

The sculpture is set at Praça Gonçalves Zarco, in Porto and bordering Matosinhos and it represents 800 coloured fish inside plastic bottles, which contain written messages by hundreds of students of the schools of Porto and Matosinhos, Maia and Vila da Feira; the message is clear: Save the Ocean of plastic litter once and for all.

The sculpture can be appreciated till 20 September.

The goal is to raise awareness on the grave threat plastic litter poses not only to the oceans but also to canals and rivers all across the world.

The planet could be plastic-free within a short time period if only visitors to public spaces picked up one piece of litter.

Scientific data are alarming, with studies indicating that more than eight million tons of plastic reach the ocean every year, and that over 150 millions tons of plastic and micro plastic already lay in the waters all around the globe.

It is estimated that by 2050 there are more plastic than fish in the sea!

The sculpture was initially produced by ESAP (Art School of Porto) in 2016 for the Ocean Action Campaign of CIIMAR, and it was showcased in several venues in Porto, Matosinhos and Gondomar.

Now, the artwork was rehabilitated to integrate the travelling exhibition "Sea of Plastic" by SeaLife.

"It was of the utmost importance to be able to rehabilitate this sculpture with the help of students and teachers, who are highly motivated to help spread the message that it is urgent to act now", pinpoints José Teixeira, curator of the "Sea of Plastic" exhibition and coordinator of the Ocean Action Campaign by CIIMAR.