Every year, millions of marine animals die by consuming plastic. Most animals cannot digest the processed chemicals in plastic. A single piece of plastic can take the lives of many animals because it takes so long to disintegrate. Once consumed, it stays in their bodies causing the animals to feel full until they eventually die from starvation. All animals that die from consuming plastic will eventually decompose and release it for another animal to fall victim to. In order to comprehend this gruesome fate, it is essential to empathize with marine animals and identify why they find plastic so appealing.
In collaboration with Surfrider Foundation (DC and Virginia Beach Chapters), the Animal Vision Center of Virginia, and the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, this series of images explores the human imprint on the natural world by comparing the vision of humans and animals in the context of seeing plastic pollution. The ten metal prints recreate the vision of animals that are most affected by ocean pollution. The images transport us into their lives to better comprehend how they perceive plastic in their environment. In order to understand the impact of our waste, we need to understand life outside of the human perspective. Realizing how different the world looks to animals, we can begin to understand why they find plastic appealing enough to ingest.
All plastic used in this project was sourced from the environment and recycled.
The plastic used in each photograph was chosen based on information provided by the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center on what each animal is known to ingest.