Splash Trash International
The Challenge: By 2050 there will be more pounds of plastic in the ocean than pounds of fish.
Plastic is destroying our oceans and wildlife, our beaches, our local economies and our human health. We dump 16 billion pounds of plastic in the ocean every year, a truck-full every minute. Already 100,000 sea animals and more than a million sea birds are killed each year from plastic – either through ingestion or entanglement. And now it’s starting to enter our food chain; it’s in the fish we eat and the water we drink.
Awareness and action around marine pollution is starting to gain some traction, but it’s moving much too slowly in relation to the immediacy of the threat we are facing. We need something global to accelerate this trend. Something participatory that people can join in and organize around. Something visual that can become viral on social media. Something that amplifies the immediacy of this issue so loudly people all around the world will be motivated to join in and take action.
Splash trash art (art made out of plastic collected from oceans, rivers and waterways) is a rapidly growing new art genre with, unfortunately, limitless free art supplies. Creating art out of marine debris transforms people into marine debris activists; sharing marine debris art raises awareness and motivates action in a non-threatening and persuasive way.
Historically, international arts-based events have been powerful catalysts for increasing awareness and action around a variety of issues – from AIDs to Tsunami victims.
We are at a tipping point in relation to marine debris and the future of our planet. This is the historic moment to use the transformational power of art to raise awareness, activism and advocacy.
The ArtExpos already have global buy-in. In only two months, 56 organizations from 22 countries signed on as International Splash Trash ArtExpo Supporters and are poised to collaborate and participate, with more signing on every day.
The International Splash Trash ArtExpos will harness the power of art to accelerate the movement around plastic in our oceans – expanding global dialogue and action about what we can do to make a difference.
Imagine the power of an arts-based event applied to plastic in our oceans – the excitement, the creativity, the international media coverage, the feeling that we are in this together and that together we can make a difference. The International Splash Trash ArtExpos will do just that!
This series of innovative, collaborative and participatory marine debris arts events and products will engage hundreds of artists and organizations and generate thousands of traditional and social media stories all around the world:
- Two virtual International Splash Trash ArtExpos will inspire hundreds of artists of all ages around the world to share their art.
- An International Splash Trash Juried Adult Art Competition will attract and showcase the best of this emerging art form.
- Regional (real-time) Splash Trash ArtExpos implemented by environmental and art organizations will engage new artists and non-traditional audiences.
- Splash Trash Art around the World exhibits will share the Juried Adult Art Competition winning artwork (fifteen exhibits in ten countries).
- Traditional and web-based media coverage of the international and regional ArtExpos, Juried Art Competition and Splash Trash Art around the World Exhibits will promote marine debris solutions (at least 300 articles in 25 countries).
- Viral social media coverage of the International and regional ArtExpos, Juried Art Competition and Splash Trash Art around the World Exhibits ArtExpos via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest will spread marine debris solution messages to millions more.
Bette Booth is a professional environmental communicator with 25-years experience in more than 30 countries. Clients included the University of Rhode Island Coastal Resources Center, Robert Woods Johnson Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, World Health Organization, the Global Fish Alliance and the Philippines Fisheries Project.
On a Caribbean vacation in 2016, she was devastated by the amount of plastic in the ocean and on the beaches. She began to make art out of the trash and to learn more about marine debris. She found that what she was seeing was happening all around the world. It changed her life.
She created Splash Trash and took the show on the road to six Florida gulf coast locations. The 2017 Splash Trash Tour included an arts-based, interactive Pop-Up Show, presentations and workshops with schools and local organizations, media advocacy and participatory Catch-of-the-Day art installations. More than 5,000 people visited the show, and more than 150,000 were reached via media. The lessons learned from the Tour led to the development of the ArtExpos. Bette continues to make splash trash art and has been featured in two juried shows. She is a 5 Gyres Ambassador.