Monday, March 19, 2012

San Jose Students to Beautify Their School with Plastic Trash Murals and Sculptures

Students and staff are recycling plastic caps from milk jugs, butter tubs and Gatorade bottles to be used in murals and sculptures that will beautify their school. 



City sustainability coordinator Valerie Brown watched a TED Talk a few years back and was floored at what she learned.

Oceanographer Capt. Charles Moore had discovered a expansive plankton-rich patch of floating plastic garbage at sea. It was enough plastic garbage to fill two Texases. He found that currents carry the world’s plastic trash to this common place in the Pacific Ocean, and seabirds were dying with large quantities of plastic caps in their bellies. (Watch TED Talk "Capt. Charles Moore on the seas of plastic" here.)

Brown wanted to do something. So, she asked city employees to remove the caps off everything from their milk jugs and Gatorade or soda bottles to their peanut butter jars and cream cheese or butter tubs before recycling them.

They collected a whole lot them, Brown said, and ultimately supplied Garrison-Jones Elementary School students with enough plastic caps and tops to construct a colorful underwater manatee mural a couple years ago.

Now, San Jose Elementary School’s “Green Team” is in the process of collecting plastic caps and lids for its own plastic art mural.

Green Team students have drawn pictures of what they want to create from the tops. Some of those renderings will be blown up and cut into plywood as standalone sculptures, and others will be incorporated into a mural, Janine Munns, the school family and community liaison, said.
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