In conjunction with World Environment Day, Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, launched the Singapore series of the UN Environment’s #BeatPlasticPollution Campaign at Marina Barrage. Through this initiative organised by City Developments Limited (CDL) and Global Initiatives, Singapore, which designated 2018 as its Year of Climate Action, joins 11 other Asia-Pacific cities that have created recycled plastic art installations for the UN Environment’s campaign.
“Beat Plastic Pollution” is also the theme for World Environment Day 2018. Globally, 13 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean every year, threatening marine and human life while destroying natural ecosystems. In Singapore, about 700 million kilogrammes of plastic waste are discarded annually but less than 10% of it is recycled.
To date, CDL and Global Initiatives have rallied 30 like-minded partners from the Private, Public and People (3P) sectors to create three art installations and raise awareness of how plastic pollution affects health, nature and wildlife. The largest of the three installations, Mori, is a massive 120-metre long caterpillar which will be made from some 18,000 plastic bottles and displayed at Marina Barrage. Mori aims to enter the Singapore Book of Records for the largest number of plastic bottles used in an outdoor art installation.
When completed, the caterpillar sculpture will blossom into a chain of colourful plastic flowers, signifying a waste-to-beauty metamorphosis. Designed by professional architects Mr Kenneth Koh Qibao (age 35) and Mr Brandon Lim Jing Hong (age 30), the sculpture is also a wall for visitors to pledge their commitment to reduce plastic waste and they can share this on social media using the #BeatPlasticPollution and #ClimateActionSG hashtags.
The other two installations Our Forgotten Sea and Singapore’s Plastic Iceberg will be located at CDL’s City Square Mall and joint-venture South Beach mixed development respectively.
Prior to the launch of the #BeatPlasticPollution campaign in Singapore, collection points for plastic bottles were set up at seven CDL commercial properties and community spaces such as Our Tampines Hub and Environment Building since 16 May 2018. CDL’s hotels, organisers of conventions, marathons, community events, and other companies also contributed plastic bottles they collected. In total, some 40,000 plastic bottles were diverted from the landfills.
Over the next two weeks, about 300 volunteers from all walks of life, including community artists, the National Environment Agency and ITE College East, will come together to create the three art installations to spread the message about plastic pollution.
Ms Esther An, CDL Chief Sustainability Officer, said, “Plastic pollution is a global crisis that grows exponentially every year. CDL is honoured to collaborate with Global Initiatives to spearhead the Singapore series of the UN Environment’s campaign to beat plastic pollution. We are heartened that partners from the Private, Public and People sectors, as well as members of the public have joined us in the fight against this global threat. CDL is a firm advocate of sustainable development and environmental conservation. Beyond their visual appeal, we hope that the art installations made from recycled plastic bottles will spur greater action and create a wave of change.’’
Mr Tony Gourlay, Global Initiatives Chief Executive, said, “The magnitude of the plastic pollution problem is enormous and the impacts are devastating. We must work together to address this and action-driven campaigns like Beat Plastic Pollution are an important step.”
Ms Isabelle Louis, UN Environment Deputy Regional Director and Representative for Asia and the Pacific, said, “While plastic has many valuable uses, we have become over reliant on single-use or disposable plastic. This World Environment Day, we want everyone to consider how they contribute to the problem and what they can do to help beat plastic pollution. Really, the mantra is simple: If you can’t reuse it, refuse it.”
For more information about the initiative, please visit www.cdlsustainability.com.