Thinking creatively to reduce the use of plastic

Date: 24/09/2019

An exciting arts scheme has got underway in Gwynedd which aims to inspire people to reduce their use of plastic.

The Ynys Blastig (Plastic Island) project, commissioned by Gwynedd Council, will work with children and the wider community in the Peblig area of Caernarfon. The social enterprise Antur Waunfawr is also expected to collaborate on the project.

Councillor Gareth Thomas, Gwynedd Council Cabinet member for Economic Development and Community said: "Over the last few years, there has been increasing attention to the unnecessary use of plastic and its detrimental effect on the environment here in Wales and around the world.

"TV programmes along with local and international campaigners means that there is finally realisation that people have to change their attitudes to using plastic.

"Our aim with this project is to use art to broaden the attention, giving artists the opportunity to work with some of the county's children to create work that will inspire not only them, but also the wider community to realise that we have a duty all to do our bit for the planet. We are really looking forward to seeing the development of the project.”

As part of the project a group of artists led by Iola Ynyr will visit Ysgol Maesincla in Caernarfon to develop ideas for the Ynys Blastig project. The team of artists that include Mirain Fflur, Mari Huws, Iwan Fon and Ceri Lloyd will also be working the Noddfa nursery and cylch Ti a Fi.

Iola Ynyr said: “Our aim is to create an arts activity that unites and brings people together. What struck us when developing the idea for the project were the huge islands of plastic that appear to form currents in the sea. Dead islands capable of killing and destroying nature.

“We can say that we as humans isolate ourselves, isolate people and the planet. But the aim with this project is to collaborate creatively, to look afresh at how we can all take responsibility for reducing our use of plastic and give everyone a better future.

“The aim is to start with pupils from Ysgol Maesincla walking through Caernarfon in costumes made from their plastic waste. The fear is that there will be more plastic in the sea than fish by 2050 which has led us to wonder if we as humans will start incorporating plastic into our bodies?

“We have already started to visit the pupils of Ysgol Maesincla in Caernarfon ready to discuss the project with the pupils and we are really looking forward to going back and hearing what they think of it. What's exciting is that the ideas and creativity of the children and anyone else contributing will drive the project forward and the artwork will be based on their ideas and their work.”

The project will close with an island art parade of natural materials that demonstrates the creative and transformative power of creativity, reflecting a change in the mindset, habits and ambitions of all participants. This parade is due to take place in March.

PHOTOGRAPHS: Pupils from Ysgol Maesincla who are part of the project