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Japanese editorial on plastic pollution published as giant sand sculpture on beach

The article-cum-sculpture took 11 days to complete.

Matthias Ang | June 5, 03:23 pm

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Plastic pollution has become one of the most serious environmental issues to emerge today.

And in Japan, it appears that there is a growing sentiment that, more than ever, people must be made aware of excessive plastic usage.

Article on plastic pollution published as giant sand sculpture

On May 30, Japanese media Tokyo Shimbun ran a full-page article titled “Plastics Floating in our Seas“.

However, this was done with a twist — the article was published as a giant sand sculpture engraved into Iioka beach in Chiba prefecture instead and photographed from above.

Screenshot from Tokyo Shimbun

Additionally, Japanese culture website Spoon & Tamago highlighted that the date of the article, May 30, was also significant, given that it is Japan’s Zero Waste Day.

Article created by an artist, with help from local residents and students

Tokyo Shimbun further highlighted that the article, measuring 50m by 35m, took a total of 11 days to complete.

It was produced by sand artist Toshihiko Hosaka, with local residents and students chipping in to help finish the work.

Source: Tokyo Shimbun
Source: Tokyo Shimbun

Article calls out Japan for its plastic usage

The article also cited shocking statistics on plastic pollution, highlighting the environmental harm that plastic causes. For example, around 8 million tonnes of plastic, stemming from daily usage, are dumped into rivers and oceans annually.

The article added that this has fatally harmed around 700 animal species, such as turtles, seabirds and fish.

It also pointed out how plastic could take centuries to break down intro microplastics which are then consumed by animals without them even noticing.

The article then called out Japan for contributing to the plastic problem as it produces the highest amount of garbage per person in the world.

It further stated that it is time to think about issues that had been ignored as a result of putting a priority on economic growth and daily convenience.

Japan to put plastic pollution on the agenda at the next G20 meeting

In any case, it appears that there is recognition of the plastic problem at the governmental level.

According to the Nikkei Asian ReviewJapan intends to put the issue of ocean plastic pollution on the agenda of the next G20 meeting in Osaka, scheduled for June 28 to 29.

This will involve proposing a campaign to remove waste from the sea and includes the call for cooperation between the public and private sectors.

The proposed partnership aims to develop plastic that has minimal impact on the oceans, for instance,  plastic that dissolves in seawater.

Additionally, Tokyo will also ramp up its own recycling. The government intends to install recycling boxes beside vending machines and conduct more frequent pickups of plastic containers left on the ground.

Top image via Tokyo Shimbun.

 

 

 

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