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Bottle art sheds light on litter

Glen Smith's In-Situ installation 'Bottletree'.
Glen Smith's In-Situ installation 'Bottletree'. Rob Williams

AN IPSWICH artist will shine a light on the issue of plastic waste with his most recent project for Ipswich Festival, In-Situ.

Bottle Trees aims to educate audiences on the different ways plastic bottles can be recycled and reused.

This year's InSitu is a trail of discovery as the festival presents exciting works created by some of Ipswich's most prolific and talented artists.

Artist Glen Smith collected bottles from the street, and was shocked at how many weren't put into bins. "Some people were picking up between 20 to 30 bottles per day, just from the streets of Ipswich," Mr Smith said.

Most plastic bottles are made from PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) which can take between 400-1000 years to degrade in landfills, and can end up in waterways or oceans.

PET can be disposed of in recycling bins, where it is then processed and used to create other products like pillows. Bottled water has been useful in disaster relief when water sources are unable to be cleaned, but most experts argue PET bottles are harmful to the environment.

While some councils have bannedsingle-use plastic bottles, many agree recycling is an efficient alternative. Mr Smith wants to show how to reuse plastic decoratively and to make audiences think about where their rubbish could end up.

"We're not saying don't drink bottled water, but try have alternatives to it, like filtered water or reusable bottles," he said.

Bottle Trees is a free public artwork displayed in Ipswich City Square and is on display until May 14.

Topics:  art littering plastic bottles