31 MSP’s pledge to take action on plastic

31 MSP’s pledge to take action on plastic

31 MSPs pledged to take action on plastic pollution by signing at #CleanBeachesScotland exhibition & event at Holyrood in December 2017. I created the exhibition based on my recent  NEO Terra  installation shown in both Shetland & Ullapool, to illustrate to MSP’s the scale of coastal & marine plastic pollution in Scotland.

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Of the MSPs who signed, 50% ticked all of the pledges demonstrating a personal commitment to backing measures to reduce the amount of plastic that contaminates our beaches and sea. 63% are keen to meet with Littoral Art Project to take a closer look at plastic pollution along their constituency shorelines. We will meet local beach cleaning groups (Marine Conservation Society MCS , Surfers Against Sewage SAS and  Harbourmasters to  learn more about specific beach litter issues in their constituency  and to enrol them in becoming Beach Champions.

Photographs by Alan McCredie

Joan McAlpine MSP joined me at Dunbar in her South Scotland constituency, to examine the particular litter issues concerning the Dunbar Harbour Trust as a multi-use Harbour and to take a sand sample from the regularly cleaned south beach.

#CleanBeachesScotland event. Scottish Parliament 13.12.18
#CleanBeachesScotland event. Scottish Parliament 13.12.18

The exhibition and event  received wonderful cross-party support from MSPs, including Graeme Day convener of the  Environment, Climate & Land Reform Committee with interesting conversations with many members of the committee. Environment spokesperson for the SL Claudia Beamish who attended the event, later commented in a Parliamentary Debate on the 20th December that  it was truly inspiring to see what art can do to support communities and others in their work on the issue”  Roseanna Cunningham responded in the debate that ‘……The work of the organisations that the member flagged up is incredibly important, and it needs to be backed up by Government and global action…….’

Thanks to Mark Ruskell, Environmental spokesperson for the Scottish Green Party, for his time to hear about Littoral Art Project’s findings and to talk through the value of LAP’s citizen science approach. He outlined his commitment to rigorous debate about plastic pollution and the connection to climate change legislation. I look forward to following up his links to Fife environment and arts education organisations.

I will also be contacting the other MSP’s interested in bringing the LAP to their constituencies ( Joan McAlpine in South Scotland, Rachael Hamilton in the Borders, Kate Forbes in Skye, Liam McArthur  and Jamie Halcro Johnston in Orkney ) and to explore the potential of this creative approach to engage their communities in tackling #MarinePlasticPollution  as in Shetland and Ullapool where people  joined me in collecting and examining beach samples.

The results of this interactive arts-cum science approach formed the  photographic evidence shared with MSPs and is available to share with councils and community groups.

5 NW SAND SAMPLEs panel

Following on from the success of the Holyrood exhibition, the Shetland Amenity Trust and I will be requesting a meeting with Scotland’s Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham. I intend to pass on the LAP research from 120 beaches and the findings of partner organisations, community groups and individuals that took part in the #CleanBeachesScotland event co-hosted by  MCS , with major contributers  KIMO, SAT, FIDRA, SAMS ).    I will be highlighting the extent of plastic pollution originating from the fishing and aquaculture industries, which often makes up to 90% of litter on Northern Scottish beaches and are often under mentioned . 

fishing rope on beach

We welcome the recent Scottish Government’s announcement to legislate against environmentally damaging items:

The positive response of so many MSPs during the #CleanBeachesScotland event and the Scottish Governments environmental announcements give hope to all those working to #BeatPollution in Scotland. These are great achievements that need to be actioned and broadened to include the fishing & aquaculture industry’s plastic pollution as soon as possible, so that Scotland can truly be seen to be leading the way internationally towards achieving a cleaner more sustainable environment.

MAIN HOLYROOD BEACH IMAGE smallest pic
Scotland’s beaches are beautiful – but increasingly contaminated with Plastic Pollution

Please follow up with your MSP e.g. suggest helping to bring the project to their constituency. If you/your organisation/group has evidence of plastic pollution on a stretch of the Scottish coastline please leave a comment below or email me so I can include it in the #CleanBeachScotland document that I will present to the Environment Minister.

Please follow the progress of the Littoral Art Project by pressing the blue FOLLOW button on the left and follow on twitter @LittoralArt

Help to support this research-art-action project to continue, develop and to reach more communities by making a donation. Press the orange DONATE button on the left. Thankyou

Julia has received Creative Scotland awards supported by The National Lottery for the original Littoral Art Project R&D and NEO Terra exhibition that led to this exhibition. The #CleanBeachesScotland exhibition was self-funded by the artist.

CS_Lottery_SB_bw

New Collection

New Collection

In preparation for the projects second NEO Terra exhibition in May at An Talla Solais Gallery in Ullapool, I have begun collecting sand samples and plastiglomerates from beaches along the NW Highland coast.

ullapool-shoreline  scourie-beach-2min-collectiontarbet-beach-2min-collection  2min-collection

Snapshot photographs give an insightful picture of whats occurring on our beaches and in our seas. To expand this information I am asking followers of the project to  keep a look out for plastiglomerates and to tweet images  with #plastiglomerate with the name of the beach they were found on to @LittoralArt .

morefield-hand-plastiglomerates_li

Identification: Plastiglomerates are lumps of burnt plastic litter, that has melted and bonded with natural beach materials.

coloured-plastiglomerates They  are often highly colourful just like the plastic objects they once were , but most fade to look deceptively like the rocks and pebbles around them . They can take a lot of looking for, a give away sign is that they are much lighter than similar size  stones and relatively warm to touch

plastic rock reveal copy

I am hoping that fellow MCS beach watchers  engaged with monitoring beaches and all those involved with  marine plastic campaigns eg the   #2minutebeachclean and the #Nurdlehunt   will  join in exchanging information to help us build an increasingly comprehensive  documentation of the forms of plastic in the marine and coastal environment.

If any followers along the Scottish coastlines particularly in the NW highlands and the Western Isles  find stretches of beaches with lots of plastiglomerates please  contact me so I can  try to arrange to pick them up to use in the exhibition.

Over the next  10 days I’m visiting 12 beaches between Lochinver and Plockton and I’m inviting people to join me on Sat 4th Feb at Badentarbet beach 11am- 1pm; Friday 10th February at Ullapool (pier west side) 2-3.30pm; at Gairloch (meet at the Museum) Sat 2-3.30pm.  If the weather forecast is bad please check on line www.littoralartproject.com or ring  0797 7997605, please dress for winter conditions .

HOPE 2017

I am very happy to be back based in Ullapool and to begin collecting beach samples from along the  Wester Ross coastline..rhue-beach-jan-17 Rhue Beach – todays collection location

Over the next month I will be collecting  samples ffrom 60 beaches for examination in the NEO Terra  exhibition taking place at An Talla Solais‘s Caledonian Gallery May 13th -June 18th.   I intend involving as many people as possible in the collection and will be encouraging discussions as to how to build  HOPE for the future. Shared ideas will be added to those collected and sketched out from Shetland residents on HOPE isle  below…..  hope-isle-3_li Please add your own ideas  into the comments box below of ‘how we can stop plastic leaking into the environment and  improve environmental sustainability’ I will add them  to the isle of HOPE.  My own HOPE is based  on the support and feedback I have received to the  Littoral Art Projects 2016 ‘s achievements recorded below :

         Littoral Art Project LEGEND 2016

                               Featured Image -- 3554  nt-beach-samples-cu nt-beach-sample-results                 Exhibition: NEO Terra, Shetland Museum      Oct-Nov

                     img_3940 commando-lands terra-nova-end-statement                        Animation: Terra NOVA,  Shetland Museum     Oct-Nov

               scalloway-evidence-bags  magnifying-voxter  whalsay-micro-plastics                                 Education Workshops: across Shetland            May-June

                             COPcube2  cairn  img_0912                                            Presentation: Edinburgh Humanities Network – Deep Time    April

                           29th MArch IM collecting PR's plastic rock reveal copy  PR's section 2                   Expedition: to Isle Martin        March

                 Studio 4 Studio 4 TS Studio 4 postit                               Residency: at An Talla Solais developing animation storyboard

             CS logo 1 copy                                    Awarded  Creative Scotland -Open Project Funding towards LAP                                         exhibition in  Shetland and Ullapool 2016-17

#IVoted

casting votes for beaches 1

Over the last few weeks I have carefully cast my marks within the ‘littoral zones’ of our coastline.Marks  writ large on Luce Bay (Dumfries) with lines of washed up plastic gun wads threaded together

casting votes for beaches 2

Bold marks made with washed up sections of plastic prawn boxes

mixed col X white X Purplr & white X

Blue X red X green X

Small marks on Portobello beach using beach-goers litter, spoons, pens, cotton bud sticks , plastic stirrers plus commercial fishing tags and cord. These marks are addressed to all the party’s regardless of their colour.

Please cast your vote for the marine environment and the arts today @LittoralArt #cleanseas #cleanbeaches    Check out what the Littoral Art Project is doing, send me your comments, press the follow button on this page and consider supporting funding the work of this project.

Above all vote for a cleaner and creative world!