The genesis of this project started with the tarp which I found a few years ago on the beach at Port Renfrew. The frayed fabric reminded me of a plastic waterfall, and the idea of a waterfall of plastic bottles followed closely after. I kept the concept simmering in the back of my mind. When I heard about our local Surfrider’s “Take Back the Tap” campaign I thought it would be a great fit. Around the same time, the District of Tofino Arts, Culture and Heritage committee was seeking proposals for public art projects. I saw the opportunity and approached the Surfrider executive about partnering on the proposal.
I’ve done countless shoreline cleanups and seen firsthand the proliferation of water bottles and bottle caps in the ocean. They are consistently among the top 5 items found on cleanups around the world. Adding insult to injury, in many places, including Tofino, bottled water is a senseless substitution for tap water. Compared to bottled water, Tofino tap water is cleaner, cheaper, and pollution-free. Yet, while visiting Tofino, many folks still persist in choosing bottled water – “the choice that lasts forever”.
The water bottles and bottle caps used in Classic Plastic were collected during local shoreline clean ups as well as from the Ucluelet recycling depot. The tarp was collected by me from the beach at Port Renfrew and I found the barrel rim on a clean up in Barkley Sound.
The label was created by all-around friend and creative force, Albert Shepard.