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Art Students Unveil Second Sculpture to Raise Awareness of Plastic Pollution Crisis

Level 2 and 3 Art and Design students from Ashford College recently unveiled the second of two sculptures to raise awareness of plastic pollution. 

The project began when the Council approached our Level 2 and 3 art students, delivering a talk on plastic and proposing an exciting collaboration to tackle the plastic pollution crisis. Inspired by the giant whale sculpture from Sky’s ‘Ocean Rescue’ campaign, the students got to work designing various concepts made from plastic and started collecting single-use plastics (SUP) from their everyday lives. 

The first sculpture debuted in County Square back in April and has since moved to the Singleton Environment Centre, with the hopes of the roadshow continuing at Elwick Place’s Picturehouse before eventually being donated to Pilgrim’s Hospice for the residents to enjoy.

Amy Casey, Waste & Recycling Education Officer, Ashford Borough Council, said: “Like the flower garden, the cow sculpture was made using single-use plastics from the students’ lives or from litter picked up and cleaned from around the borough. The aim is to continue the conversation about our dependence on plastic, how we can reduce our plastic usage and highlight the amount of SUP littered on Ashford streets. The majority of the cow’s plastic comes from traditional milk bottles, which are made up of HDPE plastic. In 2018/19 Ashford Borough recycled approximately 180 tonnes of HDPE plastic - this is the equivalent to 4.5 million four pint milk bottles!”

 “This project, which has been thoroughly embraced by the students and teachers alike, has really highlighted how much plastic we use without even thinking about it."

Rob Forsyth, Team Leader in Creative Arts, Ashford College, said: “As a public art commission, the project was really beneficial work experience for our students. They submitted several design concepts to the Council, who liked them so much that they settled on two designs rather than one, as originally proposed.

“The cow was inspired by Ashford's history and heritage as a cattle market town and was created by melting the plastic milk bottles over the wire frame skeleton. We were able to gather the required amount of bottles in a relatively short space of time, which really highlights how much we’ve come to depend on single-use plastic in our daily lives.

“We’re very happy that our sculpture will live on in various locations, hopefully continuing to raise awareness of plastic consumption.”