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Project Details

Toronto, ON, Canada

Mary Long

Project Lead

Turning pollution into artwork by making snow globes with plastic pellets

Project Description

What do you do with plastic once it’s been removed from the watershed? That’s the question Mary Long asked herself. Her lab at the University of Toronto collected plastic pellets from watersheds around the GTA for microplastic research. After the research was completed, she wanted to figure out ways to reuse the pellets.

These plastic pellets, nurdles as they are colloquially coined by researchers and industry professionals are small granules of plastic used in manufacturing. Millions of these microplastic pieces enter the waterways in Canada everyday. This effects everything in the ecosystem from the small plants and animals all the way to humans as it bioaccumulates in the food chain. Researchers are finding nurdles in fish, waterfowl and even humans.

In an effort to raise awareness about this problem, Mary has taken a creative twist. After thoroughly sorting and sanitizing the plastic pellets she adds white pieces into small mason jars along with beautifully hand crocheted penguins to make festive snow globes. These ornaments serve as a reminder and way to educate people about the effects of plastic pollution. Afterall, plastic pollution impacts the globe, from our backyards to Antarctica.

Mary started by making many beautiful ornaments herself and plans to host booths at craft fairs to raise awareness.

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