My dear friend, Rose Shank, cleaning up HukiLuau Beach on North Shore of Oahu with me in 2018. The amount of plastic on the beach and in the water was staggering. Little by little, we picked up what we could and then, with heavy hearts, we walked away. We never give up. Please be sure to scroll all the way down, thanks
Contact companies and businesses that sell products in non recyclable packages and urge them to switch to compostable or paper bags/containers. Write legislators and urge them to pass bills holding manufacturers accountable for their plastic waste (Maine and Oregon just passed such laws).
Update Sept. 2, 2021:
Please read the following article about Terracycle, a company that greenwashes corporation's attempt to do nothing about the plastic they create (Thanks to Rose Shank for info).
Going for a walk around the block? Grab your trash grabber or wear gloves to pick up trash in gutters and especially at drainage sites where plastic pieces often gather before they flow down into streams, rivers, and ultimately, the ocean. Participate in local creek and beach clean-ups. It's sad how much plastic is in our waterways and oceans.
Choose sustainably sourced products that do not contain plastic such as wood, cotton, bamboo, etc. See the fabric list below-left for more information. Limit the amount of meat you eat by including plant based protein alternatives. Become a living example of how to live well.
A word of caution:
Please consider non-animal sourced alternatives. Please consider not buying items and clothing made from leather, wool, fur, and feathers. Thank you!!
Nylon (aka Polyamide)
Do NOT Release Microplastics:
I've had to stop myself before purchasing any new item such as clothing, bedding, furniture, kitchen towels, etc. I check what it is made of and often reconsider if I can reuse/recreate what I already have or live without it.
Sea Salt (My comment: from the ocean)
Microplastics are found in fish and in gray water from washing clothes that are made from plastic
I'm sure there's a lot more, but the point is that we need to be vigilant and aware that plastic pollution is often unseen and therefore unrecognized as a serious threat to our health and the health of other creatures as well as our planet.
The following are helpful sites to learn more what you can do to help stop plastic pollution.
Please consider not using acrylic paints. Check the ingredients of your art materials and look into alternatives such as:
And when considering
Here's an article by artist Terri Hughs-Oelrich (September 2021) regarding her plastic cap art project and about single-use plastics.
See "Art Fun with Plastic Caps" Below!
How many videos and photos have I seen showing plastic straws endangering wildlife and how many plastic straws have my husband and I picked up by drainage ditches?
Too many, I am sad to say.
Please go to:
for a program about what you can do about plastic pollution in our oceans that is killing sea turtles and many other sea animals.
There are many alternatives for plastic straws!
There are paper, bamboo, and metal straws available at many outlets. Please visit:
The website above will give you information and provide you with very useful forms you can print and take with you to share with businesses.
One addition to the ongoing nightmare, for me, are toothbrushes. Every toothbrush you have ever thrown away still exists. Please contact your dentist and request they offer alternative brushes like bamboo. And try Brush with Bamboo toothbrushes!
Whole Foods and New Seasons stores, for example, have other brand bamboo toothbrushes, too.
Below are charts from
January 30, 2021
that explains recycling symbols.
We've all been led to believe that if we put things in the recycling bins and it has a triangle with some number in it, it will be recycled.
Recycling centers are overwhelmed with too many things to recycle and not having updated technology to deal with the problem. @PlasticPollutes: I read that "64.3% of all plastic cannot be recycled in the current system." Thanks to my friend Rose Shank for the information.
The bottom line is:
Urge your legislators to sponsor bills that update current recycling systems to meet the challenges and needs we have today, while also educating people how to reduce the burden on an overwhelmed system by making sustainable choices.
Here are two great sites, Thanks to Liam Williams from Troop 218 for the information!!
For Tire Disposal in Every State and
How to Get Rid of Everyday Household Items, please click on the underlined titles.
Thanks to Martha from Texas for the additional helpful sites regarding recycling information!!
If you find any up to date articles, websites, and resources about recycling, please contact me via my "Contact Me" tab so I can share your information!!
Hidden Plastic: Be Aware of What You Wear!!
Marianne Bickett, artist
Sherwood Center for the Arts "Those Who Teach" Art Exhibit
August 3 - October 4, 2021
A Video of the dress was featured on Instagram through @WoArtBlog in "My Story", a New York based Art Gallery. As of June, 2023, my lovely dress will be on permanent display at the New Seasons store in Tualatin, Oregon. If you're in the area...check it out! Thanks to New Seasons for encouraging shoppers to go plastic free!
Art as Process:
Although many years ago I created a simple vest out of non-recyclable plastics for an elementary art unit on repurposing plastic for art, this was my first attempt to create something more sophisticated.
The problem of plastic pollution is far underrated and one of unseen damage. We don’t see the plastic in our food, water, and in the air we breathe, but it's there. Microplastics are microscopic pieces of plastic that is in our water and soil…and in our clothing. When you wash clothing that is made from, for example, polyester, microplastics leak into the gray water when rinsing. I was horrified last year when I realized polyester is plastic. Now, when I purchase clothing, bedding, kitchen towels, etc, I always check to see what it made of, and I do not buy anything made with plastic. We need to make tough choices that are not easy and can lead us to rethinking the way we consume food and products. Something has to give. Clothing cannot be recycled and ends up, ultimately, in landfills. It can be reused and repurposed, though.
My goal is to keep as much plastic out of landfills as possible. Plastic bottle caps are not recyclable, no matter what they say. Most recycling centers are not equipped to deal with them as they scatter and clog machines and pose a hazard to workers. So, save those caps! You can help Mother Nature by:
You and your children, students, or grandchildren can enjoy making all kinds of sculptures and designs with them. They can be temporary where you can reuse them over and over like legos or you can glue them on a surface to make a permanent relief sculpture.
Also, use them to make colorful prints!! Jaxon, age 3, making a plastic top print.
And, those caps that have a hinge, why they make great mobiles that create interesting sounds!
Fill larger caps with water and place in your garden for butterflies, bees, and birds to take thirsty sips! These are only a few ideas! Please send me your art projects for repurposing plastic, thanks!!
Download the article I wrote about Our Plastic World. The article has information about plastic pollution and resources to learn more. Thank you!