Global Eruption of Trash Sculptures Alters Consumer Behavior
February 4, 2019
Salvaged waste artisans are sending a message through sculptures formed from discarded household items and packaging. These revolutionary masterpieces have been emerging in public locations throughout the globe.
The primary purpose of this art form? To prominently display the pollution epidemic in a way that is engaging and impossible to ignore. The creators of these ‘trash sculptures’ are on a mission to save the earth and ocean through art – and it appears to be working.
The goal of artistically presenting reclaimed trash is to draw the attention of passers by to a small portion of the waste they’ve carelessly discarded. When we throw away, we cease to think about the waste by adopting an out of sight, out of mind mentality. Encountering these sculptures in our day-to-day commute and excursions forces us to confront our addiction to consuming disposable materials and the effect wasteful lifestyles are having on our environment.
So, are consumers starting to think twice about purchasing items packaged in single-use plastics and items that will be thrown away at the end of their useful lifespan? Recent changes in market trends seem to imply that they are.
Demand for Sustainable Alternatives is Skyrocketing
Consumer demand for sustainable plastic alternatives is skyrocketing. The demand for bamboo – the number one renewable, reusable, and biodegradable alternative to plastic – is increasing so rapidly that industry leaders are scrambling to augment their supply.
China’s crude stainless steel output reported hitting a new high in 2018. Reusable stainless steel products have become increasingly popular as a long-term alternative to disposables. With a usable lifespan of over 30 years, stainless steel products are helping to keep tonnes upon tonnes of disposable plastic products out of production.
In Europe, the market for secondhand items surpassed 2.5 billion Euros last year. Mindfully, consumers have opted to divert unwanted items from the landfill by purchasing and selling used goods instead of buying new. This practice is curbing the demand for fast fashion, fast furniture, and other low quality merchandise.
In addition, trash sculptures have helped to induce bans on single-use plastics throughout the globe, which will continue to open new markets for sustainable product offerings.
Largescale Companies are Getting the Message
Sustainability in business started with small businesses. Ecopreneurs and other small business owners mindful of their environmental impact have been experimenting with reusable and biodegradable packaging for over a decade. Now, fueled by the voices of activists, the message has finally reached Fortune 500 companies.
Well-known industry leaders Nestlé and PepsiCo have announced trials of reusable glass and stainless steel packaging in place of previously used disposables. They claim to have developed a collection system that will ensure the containers are returned for reuse at the place of purchase.
Samsung recently revealed a switch to sustainable packaging for all of its products. Any plastic components used previously have been replaced by biodegradable recycled paper.
Increased Demand for Sustainability is Driving Prices Down
The increased demand for sustainable alternatives is driving the price of eco-friendly products down. Not only is this of benefit to the eco-conscious consumers actively demanding these items, it is encouraging cost-driven consumers to opt for sustainable alternatives as well.
The more accessible eco-friendly products become to all working classes, the more likely it is that more consumers will adopt these alternatives permanently.
Trash Art Used in Schools to Foster Sustainable Thinking
Schools are incorporating awareness programs that utilize salvaged waste art as a tool for understanding. Students are encouraged to touch, feel, and construct with discarded materials, fostering a mental awareness to avoid and recycle these disposable materials wherever possible, alleviating the pollution epidemic.
Bringing the practice of trash sculpting into schools breeds mindful consumerism in students as they mature, resulting in mindful consumption in the next generation.
We’re excited to watch this trend continue to transform the minds of consumers and companies alike. Art truly is power and these artisans have wielded theirs commendably. Let us know some of your favorite trash sculptors in the comments below!