This isn’t your typical art piece that you’d find in a museum. It’s a giant, working machine that shows the toxic relationship between fossil fuels and plastic production – and I decided to set it on fire with my friends.
In March 2022, 1500 delegates from 193 different countries came together to announce that they would start working on a Global Plastics Treaty.
One year later, at the INC-2 treaty negotiations, fossil fuel-producing countries have already banded together to weaken the treaty – by focusing on recycling rather than imposing limits on plastic production.
99% of plastics are made from fossil fuels – and unless we get plastic production under control, we won’t be able to stop the world from burning.
To capture these images, we had firebreathers and pyrotechnicians breathe fire on and around the Perpetual Plastic Machine
The entire installation was built from scratch in a warehouse with the help of Greenpeace Germany.
A rockstar team of producers, fabricators, electrical engineers, and volunteers came together for over a month to bring my vision to life: A custom, kinetic, and creaking oil rig that intersected a plastic production line to form a giant red “X” calling for a stop to virgin plastic production.
And unveiled before the Musée d’Orsay at INC-2 in Paris, where the Global Plastic Treaty Negotiations were happening.
Every 10 minutes, over 150 people would walk by, stare and wonder what this creaking monstrosity was all about. In that same amount of time, over 180,000 tons of plastic was produced.
Unfortunately, fossil-fuel-producing countries only want to focus on the visible and obvious problem of plastic waste management.
Because plastic waste in the ocean is universally condemned, the plastic industry tries to redirect everyone’s energy toward waste management. But plastic production leaves a trail of pollutants in its wake, similar to the light trails left behind by our curtain of fire.
But time is running out to put restrictions and limitations on the less visible threat of pollutants released throughout the entire lifecycle of plastic: Extraction, Production, and Disposal.
This is why scientists, Greenpeace, and thousands of other NGOs are demanding a strong and ambitious Global Plastics Treaty, and you, too, can add your signature to the list!
The Global Plastic Treaty is a fantastic opportunity to protect the planet for future generations and cripple big oil and big plastics in one fell swoop.
Regardless of which country you’re in, make sure you let your voice be heard!
It matters now more than ever before.
- High-Rez press images, BTS, and more can be found in this dropbox link.
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- Greenpeace International press desk, +31 (0) 20718 2470, firstname.lastname@example.org (24 hours)
Concept: Benjamin Von Wong
Production Coordinator: Sebastian Könnecke
Lead Fabricator: Noel Rasch
Warehouse Operations: Hannes von Coler
Electrical Engineering: Serdal Erdal
Prototype Design: Dana Waldman, Jeremy Lizandier
Greenpeace Support Staff:
Freia Hellenkamp, Florian Grau, Viola Wohlgemuth, Yannik Preußner, Robert Böse, Capucine Dayen
List of volunteers
Sophie Regending, Lina Sandersfeld, Antje Trauboth, Laura Koppe, Mathis Romp, Tabea Schüssler, Gesche Sienknecht, Julika. S, Bolle, Charlie Löbner, Kea Frerichs, Frank Weiße, Celine M Suiter, Julia Mesner Burdge
BTS Fire Photos: @Yann_Delcambre