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Plastic bottle is an asset, not for Ocean dumping

Plastic bottle is an asset, not for Ocean dumping

A wristwatch can be a luxury thing to an old woman, but a necessity to a doctor and to prove this, meet Shafina Jaffer, an African artist, who has been trained in the UK at Slade School of Art, Ruskin School of Art & the Royal College of Arts and you realize that used water bottles in the analogy you would discard as unnecessary are of use in her world.

Right in Dar es Salaam, over five thousand used plastic water bottles, not even leaving a square inch of the towering Roman pillars to be seen, greets one entering the Colosseum Health Club in Masaki, at its entrance, being her professional work worth emulation.

This intricately designed art project Ms Jaffer’s to commemorate the Earth Day and to draw attention, is a Tanzanian artist and currently pursuing a Master degree in Painting at the prestigious the Royal College of Art in London, United Kingdom.

Her most recent art installation - titled “We Can’t Stop Caring” - took a total of 3 months to complete and on walk along Coco Beach in the city, she said she encountered an innumerable number plastic bottles carelessly discarded, along what once used to be the beautiful shore.

What a mess, the litter bins are empty but the beaches are strewn and chocking with them. This prompted action of some sort so she took upon herself to make a statement through this art installation.

She made an appeal to restaurants in the Masaki area along the beach and local residents to provide her with used plastic bottles and collected the same from the gym itself.

It is her view that individuals in Dar-Es-Salaam must do more to combat pollution on an individual level, surely plastic pollution has become a global concern, as our planet is drowning in plastic litter and micro-plastics dumped in them by you and I.

While plastic has many valuable uses, societies have become highly dependent on single-use or disposable plastic -with severe environmental consequences. Our daily habits of simply drinking from a plastic bottle and discarding the same onto our streets and into the ocean can have major catastrophic effect on the environment. Every year, more than 300 million tonnes of plastic waste is produced, and with that figure increasing 9 per cent annually.

Moreover, 75 per cent of all plastic produced becomes waste and 91 per cent of all plastic is not recycled. This is particularly alarming given that it takes up to 500 years for a single water bottle to naturally decompose. In a place as naturally beautiful as Dar Es Salaam, Ms Jaffer believes that we must all do more to play our part in conserving nature.

Every year, 1 million marine animals die from plastic pollution and one of these small habits is being environmentally mindful of the impact our consumption has on the ecosystem. With no improvements to managing waste beyond what’s already in place today, 99 million tonnes of uncontrolled plastic waste would end up in the environment by 2030.

 “If we don’t get the plastic pollution problem in the ocean under control, we threaten contaminating the entire marine food web, from phytoplankton to whales. It will be too late by the time the we catch up to this- it will not be possible to go back to reverse the damage caused. A huge amount of plastic will be embedded in the ocean’s wildlife essentially forever,” she pointed out.

Extra responsibility is tough, but it is fulfilling. As a generation of globally aware people, we must take the measures required in order to create a world in which we want to live, and in which we want our future generations to live. One’s existence in this world should not be compulsive and ruled by a concern only for egocentric yourself - that is a selfish way to live life.

Ms Jaffer’s art installation will remain up at the Colosseum Fitness Club in Oyster Bay this the end of May, where you can go and see it. It will be there as a constant reminder to all of the gym’s patrons and passersby that they should be environmentally conscious and live a life of awareness. Humanity means living and practicing daily habits for all forms of life.

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Author: DAILY NEWS Reporter

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