Every time you use a plastic bag at the grocery store or buy another bottle of water you are contributing to the deluge of one-use, throw-away plastic products that pile up in our landfills or float out to sea. One group in Baton Rouge is trying to raise consciousness with Sacred Waste, a performance art piece that illustrates the problem.
This performance art show is a unique blend of art and science – it conveys some of its information in some unusual and compelling ways: the costumes, the set, and all the props are made of discarded plastic – each costume is made of 100-300 plastic bags, one costume is made of about 300 plastic bottle caps, there’s a dragon made of about 3000 bags, and a tree made of plastic – yet we’re reminded that all the plastic on stage during the show only represents the amount of plastic Americans discard about every 100 milliseconds. One scene in the show personifies the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in a whirling dance…one scene involves a shaman ecstatically scrawling the structures of polyethylene, polypropylene, and polystyrene on a plastic screen…one scene depicts the flow of plastic through a bird’s body. Each scene in the show explores a different aspect of our relationship with plastic and mixes science with mysticism, animal instincts with consumerism, creation myths with post-apocalyptic evolution and the “new nature”. If we taught more science this way (just a little more of it, certainly not all of it) – we might change a lot of people’s attitude toward science, in the way that this whole show hopefully also changes its audience’s attitudes toward plastic.
Oh, and try to stop buying stuff in disposable plastic packaging, too.